Great Yarmouth Mercury: Seizing the opportunity
By: James Shipp Date: 3 June 2016
Category: Great Yarmouth,Press Release
Some great news for Great Yarmouth in the past few weeks from the offshore renewable sector: first Scottish Power confirmed that the town will be the construction base for the new East Anglia One wind farm; then it was announced that the port has been chosen as the assembly and installation base for the Galloper offshore wind farm.
Both these pieces of news are very welcome; now it is up to all of us to ensure we maximise the business and employment opportunities that these initiatives will bring.
Up to 3,000 jobs will be created in the UK as a result of East Anglia One, with the opportunity for several hundred of these to be local. Both projects bring with them significant investment which will stand the port in good stead for future projects such as East Anglia 3 and beyond.
Business leaders are quietly confident that we are at the beginning of a boom period for our local energy sector – but how widely will the financial benefits be felt?
Maximising the opportunity will rely on local SMEs working together rather than in competition. Collaboration was a key word at the recent SNS 2016 exhibition hosted by the East of England Energy Group. Many of our SMEs are already working together, and we see many contracts awarded to local companies who strongly draw on the supply chain in both Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft.
Both towns have also embraced the benefits of the oil and gas sector more generally and so are well set to adapt towards offshore renewables. Many local hotels and guest houses, for so long dependant on the tourism market, have been diversifying their offering in recent years. This has negatively impacted occupancy rates in recent months, but should stand these businesses in good stead in the longer term as the renewables sector expands.
Optimism is prevailing in the sector and we are seeing a number of new businesses diversifying traditional skills sets and looking to maximise the significant opportunities on our doorstep – but there is more to be done.