A NORTH-EAST marine firm's plans for a UK energy park, that could create about 4,000 jobs, has received extra support.

Able UK, near Hartlepool, wants to create a site on the banks of the River Humber, to build, assemble and install offshore wind turbines.

Bosses say the development, called Able Marine Energy Park (AMEP), and spanning about 800 acres, will create an offshore wind industrial cluster to drive forward the UK's renewable energy sector.

A decision on the energy park is expected later this year from Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin.

The scheme has been supported by Strabag Offshore Wind, one of Europe's largest wind farm firms, who say the development is well placed, as it is close to major wind energy projects.

Neil Etherington, Able's group development director, said: “It is tremendous boost at this crucial stage in our development plans for AMEP to have a company as large and significant as Strabag make clear their wish to get involved.

“We have been very grateful for the support we have received from everyone, who recognise the potential for AMEP to not only generate 4,000 direct jobs, but also provide the critical mass for the development of a much needed offshore wind industrial cluster.”