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Brightlingsea boat-building firm CTruk announces major expansion into Colchester

05 November, 2014 - 16:23
Artist

Artist's impressions showing how new CTruk buildings in Hythe, Colchester, could look

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A cutting edge Brightlingsea-based boat-building firm is set to expand into Colchester in a move which could create more than 120 jobs.

Artist's impressions showing how new CTruk buildings in Hythe, Colchester, could lookArtist's impressions showing how new CTruk buildings in Hythe, Colchester, could look

A cutting edge Brightlingsea-based boat-building firm is set to expand into Colchester in a move which could create more than 120 jobs.

CTruk, which specialises in vessels for offshore wind farm projects has agreed a lease on the Fieldgates site in Haven Road, in the Hythe area, on the River Colne.

Although the move has been on the cards for some time, CTruk has confirmed it will keep its presence in Brightlingsea.

Larger vessels would be built in Colchester as part of a new production facility, accompanied by offices and a training centre.

It hopes to fund the work with a grant from the Regional Growth Fund, the winners of which will be announced early next year.

If funding is granted, CTruk would change from a boat builder to an Advanced Composite Technology Centre creating more than 120 jobs, including 15 apprenticeships.

Brightlingsea would be kept as a delivery, maintenance and warranty base also used for sea trials for new vessels.

Peter McIntosh, company chairman, said: “CTruk has driven innovation in offshore wind vessel design since its inception and we intend to continue to apply our unique approach to design and build with the larger accommodation vessels required for the challenging sea conditions further offshore.

“This requirement is the main driver for our planned expansion, but the technology centre, with its in-house training facility, would also see us well placed to diversify into other commercial marine 
sectors, set up overseas agreements and also apply our composites 
expertise to non-marine 
manufacturing opportunities.”

Brightlingsea was recently given Assisted Area Status and included within the Centres for Offshore Renewable Engineering by the Government, while Colchester Borough Council has been driving regeneration in the Hythe.

Anne Turrell, the borough’s councillor for economic development and regeneration, said: “CBC has been actively working with CTruk for some time to help bring forward this significant proposal. We are excited about the progress made so far and the potential for further economic development and employment for the local community.”

The plans are supported by Essex MPs Bernard Jenkin and Sir Bob Russell, as well as the Haven Gateway Partnership and South East Local Enterprise Partnership.

CTruk will work closely with Colchester Institute and the University of Essex for recruitment, apprenticeships and technological expertise.

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