THE UK’s subsea industry could bring thousands of jobs to the North-East by 2022, years after plummeting oil prices left the industry at ‘rock-bottom.’

The industry, which is valued at around £1.5bn in the region alone, provides products and services in oil and gas mining, offshore wind power, defence and marine science.

Almost 9,000 people will be employed by the industry across the UK with thousands of roles in the region, a report commissioned by industry body Subsea UK today reveals.

In Darlington, Coniscliffe Road based Supergrip (UK) Limited, which specialises in the supply of subsea equipment across the world, welcomed the findings.

Company director Gordon Conlon told The Northern Echo: “The industry hit rock bottom in 2017, but in 2018 there were signs of recovery with businesses placing orders for vessels, so we did start the year hoping for more signs of the projected recovery.

“Given that the world appears to be moving away from fossil fuels, there is still a huge interest in gas and oil but with the added potential of wind power and other renewables.”

The report commissioned by Subsea UK suggests Britain has remained the ‘market leader’ in underwater engineering, manufacturing, products and services since the industry recovered from the oil price drop.

The industry body said the value of UK subsea output had increased to £7.8bn up 500m on the previous year in 2017.

The report also found almost 80 percent of subsea industry companies said they anticipated ramping up recruitment, with employment rising to 54,000 people from 45,033 in 2017.

Mr Conlon, who recently revealed the firm had secured a contract to supply subsea equipment to the Caspian Sea worth £1.7m, said: “The timing could not have been better for us as we have just expanded the business by acquiring the machine shop which has allowed us to add bespoke hardware to our product sourcing and service offering.

“We are excited about the potential of both products with the first about to be launched next month.”