Offshore energy a boost for manufacturing minister says

The growth in wind turbines presents new opportunities for manufacturing

Expansion in offshore wind energy could create up to 30,000 new jobs in manufacturing and bring £3bn of investment to the North East of England, a government minister has claimed.

Malcolm Wicks, the Energy Minister, said: “"The North East already has a wealth of skills and experience in the manufacturing sector to diversify into the green energy market.”

Wicks spoke at the unveiling of the New and Renewable Energy Centre at Blyth, Northumberland, where the world’s largest wind turbine is expected to be developed by American energy group Clipper Wind.

"The region is a pioneer in offshore wind. Blyth was the location for the first wind turbines to be subject to the full force of the weather and waves in the North Sea,” Mr Wicks said.

“The New and Renewable Energy Centre is setting a fantastic example and I hope many other manufacturing companies will recognise the opportunities a shift to a low carbon."

Margaret Fay, chairman of regional development group One NorthEast, said: "We are well-placed to spearhead the UK's development of offshore wind farms. 

"The region has the skills in the offshore sector, the ready-made sites along the rivers for companies to use and public sector research and development support to turn the region into a European hub for the fabrication, assembly and delivery of offshore wind turbines."

As part of his visit to the North East, Wicks will also host a roadshow with local businesses to discuss how manufacturing can best compete in a global economy.

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