UK: Grimsby’s Offshore Wind Potential Presented to National Audience
GRIMSBY’S potential as a centre for the multi-billion pound offshore wind industry has been highlighted as part of national television coverage about the UK economy.
Viewers of the BBC’s Breakfast programme were shown workers leaving the town’s docks on boats bound for offshore wind farm sites.
During the broadcast, Sam Pick, business development director of the Humber-based Renewables Network, was interviewed at Grimsby’s dockside this morning (Monday).
The BBC’s Steph McGovern asked Mr Pick about the significance of green energy to the area’s economy and future.
He said: “The energy sector is extremely important to the whole region – we are now at the first phase of a huge boom going on with North Sea offshore wind.
“Over the next 15 years, we will be building multi-billion pound wind farms out in the North Sea.
“That in turn creates huge job opportunities – and huge opportunities for small businesses here in Grimsby and also over in Hull and the rest of the Humber area.”
The Renewables Network is a private-sector business – with more than 250 members – that helps companies enter the green energy market.
The network champions the potential for Grimsby and the surrounding area to be home of major renewable investment and job creation.
Two of its member organisations were also featured on the national television coverage, with the BBC speaking to Bruce Marbrow of Hull-based Alpha Energy and Carolyn Burgess, a director at World Trade Centre Hull & Humber.
Mr Pick reflected on how the town’s docks are the location of existing, traditional, industry and also the future of the area’s commercial success.
He said: “This place captures both the old traditional, business of the Humber – which is fishing and the marine industry – and this new industry, which are these boats going out to take people to work on the offshore wind farms.
“We often get a lot of scepticism outside of the region about are green jobs real jobs?
“Well, if you look over there – to the boats – those are real people going out to do real work, first class jobs, on offshore wind farms right now and that industry will just continue to grow over the next five years.”
Grimsby is set to be a leading home for the operation and maintenance of offshore turbines, with the Humber being just 12 hours’ sailing time from giant wind farms planned for the North Sea.
And major wind turbine companies and manufacturers are looking to base operations in the region.
The interview was part of coverage looking at the UK’s economy during Budget week. It comes as research conducted by the BBC found areas such as the Humber have the “highest proportion of fast-growing, export-focused” firms.
Mr Pick said the renewable energy industry, and the area’s small businesses in particular, have a huge role to play in helping the region’s economic recovery.
Asked about the measures the Government could introduce to help stimulate further growth, Mr Pick said continued support of the renewable energy industry was crucial.
And he said “cutting bureaucracy” – particularly around planning regulations – would also allow small businesses to expand more easily.
Offshore WIND staff, March 20, 2012; Image: humber