Companies looking to set up in high growth areas list easy access to high quality, affordable accommodation, plentiful skilled labour and grants and incentives among their priorities.

According to EY’s 2023 UK attractiveness survey, low carbon and renewable energy projects are high priorities for overseas investors, putting the east of England, with its globally significant cluster of wind farms and long pipeline of future clean energy developments, in prime position to attract newcomers looking to capitalise on eastern promise.

A key strategy to meet demand is delivering enough ready-to-move-into commercial property and tailored support for seamless moves into the strong regional supply chain and business network of nearly 1,000 energy sector suppliers.

The PowerPark in Lowestoft is a growing offshore energy hub. It encompasses Associated British Port’s (ABP) outer harbour, OrbisEnergy, ScottishPower Renewables’ East Anglia ONE operations and maintenance base and marine and engineering supply chain companies.

Eastern Daily Press: Nexus will offer 14 flexible commercial units in LowestoftNexus will offer 14 flexible commercial units in Lowestoft (Image: Concertus)
East Suffolk Council (ESC) is actively supporting local companies and inward investors who want to locate and develop commercial assets to meet their needs in this sector.

The Nexus is one such development, a project developed by ESC that offers 14 flexible commercial units in Lowestoft and has attracted strong pre-development clean energy sector demand.

Just 10 miles north in Great Yarmouth, piling works are poised to begin on the £21.4m Operations and Maintenance Campus on the South Denes Peninsula, the project is a collaboration between Great Yarmouth Borough Council, Norfolk County Council and the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

The campus will create a range of new industrial spaces within easy access to Peel Ports’ deep water outer harbour and river port, enabling clean energy supply chain businesses to capitalise on offshore renewable energy opportunities in the North Sea.

It is expected to be ready for tenants next year and will include 190m of refurbished and upgraded quayside, new vessel pontoons and facilities.

Ian Pease, business development manager of GENERATE, which represents a range of stakeholders, including Great Yarmouth Borough Council, East Suffolk Council, Norfolk County Council, Suffolk County Council, and New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), supporting prospective new entrants to the region, said: “GENERATE’s mission is to attract energy-related investment to bring well-paid, highly skilled and sustainable job opportunities to local people and businesses in the east of England.

Eastern Daily Press:  Ian Pease, business development manager of GENERATE Ian Pease, business development manager of GENERATE (Image: GENERATE)
“Over the past 24 months, GENERATE has profiled the region’s investment opportunities, its ports and energy supply chain capabilities to national and international audiences, raising awareness of the key infrastructure projects we’re developing to support this mission, generating leads and enquiries from supply chain businesses keen to become part of the east of England’s energy sector.

“Our ports add an incredibly powerful dimension to this offer, with offshore energy experience and future ambition both in abundance at Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft, and exciting new developments to bolster our regional offer through Freeport East in Felixstowe and Harwich.

“By pulling this together, it’s evident that the east’s rich offer from wind energy to gas to operational and new-build nuclear, onshore renewables, through to emerging technologies in carbon capture, battery storage and a growing low carbon hydrogen economy, builds a compelling inward investment case whilst supporting the UK to achieve its ambitious decarbonisation and energy security targets.”

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