November 11, 2020 @ 7:00 by Steven Hugill
The North East will become the “UK’s premier offshore wind location” in £90 million development plans, a regeneration boss has claimed.
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen has unveiled a blueprint to build a new quay he says will catalyse the area’s position as a “pioneer in clean energy” and attract international firms’ attention.
The proposals come as work continues to ramp up on Dogger Bank, which, when operational, is expected to become the world’s largest offshore wind farm, providing power for millions of homes.
According to the Mayor’s vision, the quay, based on the River Tees at South Bank, will provide firms with access to 500 acres of development land and thousands more across the wider Teesworks site, which is being created on the former home of Redcar’s SSI UK steelworks.
Mayor Houchen says the heavy lift quay, which will support 100 jobs during construction, will provide access to 4.5million sq ft of manufacturing, storage and office space at South Bank for potential future wind turbine production work.
Under the plans, work is due to begin in August 2021, with completion expected by the end of the following year.
Phase one of the project will see 450 metres of the new quay built, with a further 600 metres developed in a second phase.
As part of the new facility, Mayor Houchen [pictured above] says an £11million, 50-metre wide heavy-duty hardstanding loading area will be created.
He said: “This huge area of unused land is in such a unique location and has so much potential to help us transform the whole of the Teesworks site into a global logistics and manufacturing centre, creating thousands of well-paid jobs for local people.
“Teesside is already leading the way for the rest of the UK to follow with our clean energy plans, but this takes us to the next stage.
“We’ve already announced plans to manufacture offshore wind turbines in the new 4.5 million sq ft of space we are building, and this new heavy lifting quay will give ships and international firms easy access to be able to transport not only these turbines, but also all the other exciting projects and businesses that will be located on site.
“The development of the quay is an essential step towards establishing us as a pioneer in clean energy.
“It would make Teesworks the UK’s premier offshore wind location, just a matter of weeks after the Government announced plans for the UK to be the world leader in offshore wind energy.
“People often think the Teesworks site is just the former Redcar steelworks, but this shows how much land we have that has been unused for decades.
“Now, with the right plan, we are turning it into a real hive of activity that people can be proud of again.”
Councillor Mary Lanigan, leader of Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council, said the plans represent a “bright future”, and praised their potential impact on the jobs market.
She added: “This huge development would make Teesworks even more attractive to inward investment from companies in the offshore wind sector, with, subject to planning permission, the potential to create lots of jobs for people right here in Redcar and Cleveland.
“It’s the start of a massive project that shows how we’re making the most of our site and its assets to drive forward our economy in the long-term and ensure a bright future.”