MARINE company Shepherd Offshore has struck a multimillion pound deal to buy two former shipyards in a deal that could create thousands of jobs.

The firm, of Walker, Newcastle, has bought Amec’s site in Wallsend, north Tyneside, and the nearby Neptune yard, from Newcastle City Council.

Talks are being held with at least four major players in the renewable energy and sub-sea sectors to bring fabrication projects to the sites, with one deal – potentially creating 1,000 jobs – understood to be close to being secured.

The move comes as another means to breathe new life into the area.

It follows work to create the Walker Riverside business district and plans being drawn up to regenerate the riverside area from Walker to North Shields.

The deal to buy out Amec’s site, also known as the Hadrian yard, and the Neptune yard makes Shepherd Offshore, with 150 acres of industrial space, the biggest private landlord on the river.

Director Charles Shepherd said: “This deal is all about creating world-class clusters in both the renewable energy and sub-sea sectors. It is part of Shepherd Offshore’s strategic plan and we are hoping to attract contracts to the site and create as many job as possible.

“We are very keen on renewable energy and we want the North-East to be the central hub for this industry.

“If we work hard we can make the Tyne the centre for that.”