'400 jobs' at wind farm factory

Up to 400 new jobs are to be created at a factory in Billingham building foundations for offshore wind farms, it has been announced. North East-based TAG Energy Solutions said it had secured the financing required to create the UK's first offshore windmill tubular foundation manufacturing facility for North Sea wind farms.

The production facility will be located at Haverton Hill, Billingham, supporting the thousands of windmills that will generate carbon-free power in the North Sea. The initial phase of development will create 100 new jobs, with a further 300 jobs expected to follow.

David Eason, chairman of TAG Energy Solutions, said: "This is a major step forward in positioning UK manufacturing as a serious player in the creation of offshore wind farms.

"With the support of a robust and experienced supply chain, together with a locally-sourced and highly regarded skills base, we are perfectly placed to create a world-class manufacturing facility serving the renewable energy sector.

"With direct access to the North Sea through our riverside location, we have a geographical advantage over international competitors, which will ensure the UK, and the North East, is at the heart of this new energy market."

Ian Williams, of regional development agency ONE North East, said: "This announcement demonstrates the confidence that this region has in its ability to become a world leader in manufacturing for the renewable energy market."

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