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Off-shore wind giant heads to Norwich to source suppliers

PUBLISHED: 06:00 02 May 2019 | UPDATED: 12:11 02 May 2019

Susan Falch-Lovesey, local liaison officer and skills champion, Norfolk Vanguard and Boreas. Picture: ALAN O'NEILL CHPV MEDIA SERVICES

Susan Falch-Lovesey, local liaison officer and skills champion, Norfolk Vanguard and Boreas. Picture: ALAN O'NEILL CHPV MEDIA SERVICES

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A hundred-billion pound business will have a clear message for Norfolk companies when they visit the region: "Be ready."

Rob Lilly, supply chain manager for Vattenfall. Picture: VattenfallRob Lilly, supply chain manager for Vattenfall. Picture: Vattenfall

Offshore wind giant Vattenfall is launching its national supply chain campaign in Norwich to prove its commitment to the economy of the region.

The Swedish company is hoping to gain approval for their Norfolk Vanguard project – promising it will bring millions into the county's economy.

Businesses at the event will be key players in the supply chain element of the project. If approved, contracts in civil engineering, fabrication, building construction, environmental, electrical engineering, logistics, offshore services and offshore subsea engineering are up for grabs by local firms.

Rob Lilly, supply chain manager for Vattenfall, said: “We are working with local skills providers and economic development agencies to ensure the local workforce – and local businesses – are ready when we need them.”

Vattenfall has said it expects to create around 700 jobs in the region to work on the farms over the next two decades.

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The company has said it will need at least 420 onshore construction staff, hundreds offshore during construction, as well as 150 technicians.

Vattenfall has also reserved space at Peel Ports Great Yarmouth to support offshore operations.

Mr Lilly said the recent signing of the Offshore Wind Sector Deal was a step up in the government's commitment to offshore wind and the industry now had to deliver.

He added: “With the growth rate of offshore wind in the UK, we want to ensure local companies can take advantage of the diversification and growth opportunities it will offer – not just in the short term, but for future generations

“The Deal means we can plan longer term, engage earlier and in more depth with the supply chain so everyone is clear on the opportunity and priorities.”

Vattenfall has already begun building its supply network after securing £22,000 from the New Anglia LEP with the Norfolk County Council and Norfolk Chambers of Commerce.

The money was awarded to alert SMEs to the project and get them prepared for bidding. The money is expected to create 15 jobs as well as 40 apprenticeships.

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