Offshore wind boost for Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth

THE ambition to create thousands of new jobs in Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft was given a boost today after the area was named as a national Centre for Offshore Renewable Engineering (CORE).

The Government has chosen five locations across England as COREs, which will be the focus of efforts to attract renewable energy manufacturing companies.

COREs are partnerships between central government, local government and local economic partnerships.

Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft was selected following a submission to the Government by the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, supported by the four local authorities that have made this a key priority.

The five COREs will be promoted by the Government as the prime locations for offshore renewable engineering businesses, with a comprehensive package of support on offer.

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Today the Government is launching a prospectus which outlines the strengths of the five locations.

Other measures to help attract investment and stimulate job creation are also being considered to support the COREs.

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Being named as a CORE will build on New Anglia’s Enterprise Zone, which is designed to attract energy-related businesses to six sites in the Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft area.

It is hoped that the CORE status will place the spotlight on the two towns and enhance their ability to attract thousands of new jobs to Norfolk and Suffolk, within the EZ sites and further afield, and reinforce the area’s position as a key location for the energy sector.

Andy Wood, chairman of the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership said being named as a Centre for Offshore Renewable Engineering was a very significant development.

He said: “New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership has made the energy sector its top priority. Over the next few years there are huge opportunities, particularly in the investment planned in offshore wind.

“We are determined to attract as much of that investment as possible to Suffolk and Norfolk and being named as one of only a handful of Centres for Offshore Engineering will really support us in this aim.”

Mark Bee, leader of Suffolk County Council, said: “I am delighted at the recognition that the Government is granting our area as a centre of renewable expertise. We are host to one of the biggest concentrations of energy related businesses in the country and located close to the major site developments. “This designation will help us build on the achievement of acquiring Enterprise Zone status and will be of major assistance in bringing much needed inward investment in our area.”

Ann Steward, economic development portfolio holder of Norfolk County Council, said: “The good news for Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft just keeps on coming. This momentous announcement will really put the two towns on the map, and ensure that investors across the globe will be left in no doubt as to the world-class capabilities we have here.”

Stephen Baker, Chief Executive of Waveney District Council said: “This is terrific news for Lowestoft and the wider Waveney area and recognises the huge potential that we have for supporting and developing the offshore energy industry. It is also a timely recognition of how, by working together we can ensure that our local businesses and communities gain maximum benefit from this ‘once in a generation’ opportunity.”

Steve Ames, leader of Great Yarmouth Borough Council, said: “This designation is welcome recognition of the skills, expertise and track record Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft have built up in support of the energy sector.

“Becoming a Centre for Offshore Renewable Engineering will add to our reputation in the renewables sector.”

As well as Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft, the other Centres for Offshore Renewable Engineering are: Tyneside, Hartlepool, the Humber and Sheerness.

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