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Business & Economy

Energy Central submits bid for offshore wind industry funding

A partnership between Advance Northumberland, Port of Blyth, Northumberland County Council and the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult has submitted a bid to Government to support a package of infrastructure work.

Energy Central, as it is collectively known, plans to use the funding to enhance its offering to the offshore wind industry.

The bid follows Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement about state support for large-scale portside manufacturing hubs.

Energy Central’s plans include developing the already recognised offshore energy and supply chain cluster, which has more than 200 hectares of strategic quay-linked development sites.

Investment could unlock new job opportunities and directly aligns with the UK’s plans to bolster its offshore wind sector and level up the country.

Advance Northumberland and Port of Blyth have identified opportunities in the upper Blyth Estuary as prime locations for investment.

In addition, Bates Terminal which is currently being redeveloped with the installation of an additional heavy lift quay and a kilometre of new access roads, has four hectares of development land with direct quayside access.

Energy Central is currently home to a range of industry-leading offshore organisations including Royal IHC, Enshore Subsea, Global Marine, Osbit, EDF Energy, TEXO Group and ORE Catapult’s National Renewable Energy Centre.

Councillor Richard Wearmouth, chair of Energy Central Steering Group and chair of Advance Northumberland said: “The Prime Minister’s announcement to provide funding to further develop portside manufacturing hubs has been gratefully received.

“It’s encouraging to see more funding being made available to support the offshore wind sector and Energy Central’s submission, if successful, will help us to further strengthen and accelerate our offering to the renewable energy industry.

Martin Lawlor, chief executive of Port of Blyth, added: The Energy Central cluster is already home to a strong portfolio of assets and services that can support the offshore wind sector and our transition towards a low carbon economy.

“The package of infrastructure work that would be supported by this funding would rapidly enhance the facilities along the Upper Blyth Estuary, as well as create more and better jobs in the North East.”