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Harwich/Colchester: Fibre optic firm expands to second site

Steve Wakefield, managing director of CCL UK

Steve Wakefield, managing director of CCL UK

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An established fibre optics firm in Colchester is expanding into a second site in Harwich.

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CCL UK, won a bid to lease Gas House Quay from Tendring District Council (TDC) and plans to use the location as part of its expansion into the offshore sector.

Some of the planned facilities, including an office, depot and training centre, will be in place within months.

The company, founded in 2002 and based on the Whitehall Industrial Estate, Colchester, provides fibre optic services to international customers such as Shell, E.ON, Npower and Centrica and has worked on projects such as Gunfleet Sands, Greater Gabbard and London Array.

Mick Page, TDC leader, said it was a major coup to attract the company to set up a base in Harwich.

He said: “I have made it clear that Tendring and Harwich are open for business and this shows that is very much the case. This is not a promise of something in the future – this is here and now.

“People will see the site being prepared within weeks followed by the installation of portable offices and the relocation of part of the firm’s management team within months, with other facilities within six months.

“It is a shot in the arm for revitalising Harwich. I am hoping it is just the start of things to come – and an excellent start at that.”

Steve Wakefield, managing director, added: “Future employment at this site will include locally sourced employees and we also intend to use local contractors wherever possible.

“We plan to use it as a training site for our own employees and contractors and may consider opening an offshore training school. We have looked at other locations in Essex but could not find anything as suitable as Gas House Quay.

“We also plan to use the area to attract offshore companies to work with us at the site and talks are already well underway.”

Mr Wakefield said that jobs created will be safeguarded by continued reinvestment by his company and this will be achieved by growing the business and on-going development.

“It could also involve us taking on additional premises in Harwich and the surrounding area,” he added.

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