Offshore wind production boom powers North-East jobs

More than 440 jobs are being created across North-East England as part of an offshore wind production boom facilitated by government and private investment.

A total of £130m public and private sector investment will enable the creation and protection of over 440 jobs as part of an offshore wind production boom in the North-East of England.

JDR Cable Systems Ltd – an offshore wind cabling manufacturer – is being awarded a subsidy from the government’s £160m Offshore Wind Manufacturing Investment Support scheme, which, alongside private investment from the company, will result in £130m being utilised to finance facilities that will create and construct parts for next-generation wind turbines.

This impressive investment will be utilised to establish a novel factory in Cambois, near Blyth, and protect jobs at its existing facility in Hartlepool and will be a massive boost to local economies in the North-East of England. Of these 440 jobs, 270 will be protected at JDR Cable Systems’ existing factory in Hartlepool, with a further 170 created as the company builds a new production facility in Cambois.

Offshore wind to facilitate clean electricity

The newly announced financing brings the total investment to £675m so far in 2021, which is generating and safeguarding nearly 3,600 jobs across the Humber and North-East while building the UK’s offshore wind capacity to facilitate clean electricity generation as the country ends its reliance on coal for power by 2024.

As Britain takes bolder moves towards the creation of a secure home-grown renewable energy sector and is lessoning its dependence on unreliable fossil fuels and exposure to volatility in global wholesale energy prices, the capacity for employing clean, domestic offshore wind to support driving the country is set to progress dramatically in the next decade.

Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “The UK’s offshore wind sector is a major industrial success story, but we need to ensure local workers and manufacturers fully reap the economic benefits of this booming industry.

“This major investment is a perfect example of how our transition to a low carbon economy can attract new industries, create jobs, reduce our reliance on unreliable fossil fuels and generate export opportunities as we build back greener from the pandemic.”

Towards a green industrial revolution

Minister for Investment Gerry Grimstone added: “Just as the UK led the Industrial Revolution two centuries ago, we are now spearheading the Green Industrial Revolution and we are building a manufacturing base that reflects our position as a world leader in offshore wind technology.

“The UK’s clean energy sector offers huge potential to international investors and as our workers build the next generation of wind turbines that help us meet our own climate change commitments, they will be producing the technology that can help countries all over the globe build for a greener future.”

Tomasz Nowak, Chief Executive Officer at JDR, explained: “As the energy transition gathers pace and the UK’s offshore wind sector continues to thrive, turbines are growing taller and farther from shore, calling for higher voltage subsea cables.

“We’re delighted to build on our legacy as a leading provider of subsea cables to the offshore energy sector by investing in this new facility.

“We’re also delighted to continue our investment in the North East of England, and in bringing new jobs to Cambois, Blyth and Northumberland. Our proposed facility is strategically located to capitalise on the rapidly growing and largest offshore renewable energy market in Europe.”

Impact on local communities

As well as announcing funding for the offshore wind production boom, the government has also revealed that it is launching a consultation today on ways in which we can reduce the effects on local communities and the environment when offshore wind farm power cables are connected ashore in the future.

Energy, Clean Growth and Climate Change Minister Greg Hands concluded: “Our world-leading offshore wind sector is delivering clean energy for millions and opening huge opportunities for green growth, driving investment and creating thousands of high-quality jobs all over the UK.

“We are committed to growing this even more as we meet our bold climate change targets and reduce our exposure to volatile fossil fuels. But we want to hear people’s views to ensure that connecting offshore wind farms doesn’t have a negative impact on communities and our precious coastal and marine environment.”

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