North-East Local Enterprise Partnership agrees enterprise zone funding

The Northern Echo: Paul Woolston, NElep chairman Paul Woolston, NElep chairman

A £600,000 deal has been finalised to bolster the region's offshore energy sector.

The North-East Local Enterprise Partnership (NElep) has agreed funding to start work on preparing land near Northumberland Enterprise Zone.

The cash, from NElep's Investment Fund, has been given to development company Arch to pay for remediation and design studies at East Sleekburn, near Blyth.

The former power station brownfield site sits near an area earmarked for a biomass plant, which was expected to create 350 jobs, but fell through.

Bosses aim to market the land to offshore industry businesses, creating a cluster around the Narec renewable energy centre and the Port of Blyth.

Paul Woolston, NElep chairman, said: “There are ten enterprise zones sites in the NElep area and they are all at different stages of development.

“This work will reveal what needs to happen to the site to attract business, what infrastructure is needed, and what needs to be done to get the site market ready.”

Peter McIntyre, Arch Group managing director, added: “The aim is to create a major deepwater facility generating significant jobs, investment and partnerships between the Port of Blyth, Narec and the broader supply chain.”

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