Bathside Bay 'most important' site in Freeport East project

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Harwich / Bathside Bay
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Community leaders say development of Bathside Bay at Harwich is a top priority for the regeneration of north Essex.

The 45-acre site could be turned into a green energy hub as part of the Freeport East project, which aims to generate £5.5billion in 10 years.

Bathside Bay has been waiting for its future to be decided for decades and now it looks set to support large-scale manufacturing of offshore wind turbines and components, in particular, turbine towers, nacelles, monopile and jacket foundations and substations. 

Senior leaders from Essex County Council (ECC) and Tendring District Council (TDC) discussed the proposals as they met to plan progress for economic growth in Tendring.

The Tendring Regeneration Board is looking at strategic issues and areas for joint working.

At the latest meeting this week, members discussed skills and how to increase opportunities in the area and promote those to young people across the district, the development of Freeport East, and bids to the government’s Levelling Up and UK Shared Prosperity funds.

Work starting on Gateway 14 at Stowmarket

Cllr Suzie Morley (leader, Mid Suffolk District Council) was joined by Gateway 14 chair Sir Christopher Haworth and partners from Jaynic, Freeport East, Jackson Civil Engineering Ltd, Stowmarket Town Council and Mid Suffolk District Council to mark the official groundbreaking at Gateway 14 near Stowmarket. - Credit: Bec Austin

Neil Stock OBE, TDC Leader, said the strong relationship between the two councils underpins the delivery of projects of national importance in Tendring.

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He said: “Bathside Bay at Harwich is the most important site in Freeport East and represents a huge opportunity for jobs and local investment; now that planning is secured on the site and the full business case has been submitted to government it feels the greatest opportunity for the site in a generation.

“Tendring district and Essex county councils are doing everything we can to see the site come forward for development, working with the port and other partners, and speaking with one voice thanks to constructive meetings like this of the Tendring Regeneration Board really bolsters that.”

Kevin Bentley, ECC leader, added: “Transformation is happening in Tendring, whether with Freeport East at Harwich, or investment in business units in Jaywick Sands; we are looking to the long term to deliver for the people of Tendring.”

Freeport East will be centred on Felixstowe and Harwich ports, along with the Gateway 14 site near Stowmarket, and aims to create 13,500 new jobs and attract huge inward investment. It is one of eight projects nationwide to take benefit from tax and customs advantages as part of the government's Levelling Up campaign.