EastWind, the East of England’s offshore wind cluster, has announced its formal conception as a company limited by guarantee.

Founded in 2021, the EastWind Offshore Wind Cluster has united regional developers, educators and industry leaders, becoming the voice of the offshore wind sector in the East of England and attracting over 150 members from across the sector supply chain.

Establishing itself as its own legal entity with a dedicated board of directors and robust governance structure, the cluster is set to redefine its role, offering an influential industry presence, a unified voice, collaborative marketing initiatives and a cohesive approach to skills development.

EastWind has appointed Alexis Brackpool, managing director of specialist energy marketing agency Furthermore Marketing, as project manager of the cluster. 

With back-office support from the Furthermore Marketing team, the cluster's activity is set to intensify, including collaborative working with established and planned clusters across the UK in sectors such as hydrogen and nuclear.

EastWind is also aiming to attract supply chain companies from beyond the offshore wind industry, emphasising the transferability of skills and developing cross-sector collaboration.

“This is an incredibly exciting time for the cluster and I’m thrilled to be leading on the implementation of the next steps," said Alexis Brackpool.

"Not only will we work beyond the offshore wind supply chain, we will also be working to reach the wider communities and education establishments that can benefit from the projects, initiatives and innovations that offshore wind brings to the local economy.” 

Denise Hone, vice chair of EastWind and stakeholder and senior stakeholder & community engagement manager for Vattenfall, said: “This is a significant milestone in the journey of EastWind. The move positions us to operate at an exciting new level, both nationally and internationally, and solidifies our commitment to our current and future members to be their advocates.

"We have an ambition to be an exemplar for other clusters, demonstrating how collaborative working can create effective and positive change in our industry and beyond.

"Alongside addressing the issues that are facing the businesses working in the sector, we will also actively seek opportunities and add value to our members and the wider sector.”

EastWind launched as a company limited by guarantee at a member cluster forum today (Tuesday, February 13), having received the backing of all major offshore wind developers.

The event provided a deeper insight into EastWind’s future plans and strategic roadmap, including the establishment of a shadow board comprising of students to enable two-way conversations between industry and its future workforce.

Additional speakers at the forum included Dr Dorian Hindmarsh, commercial director at Proeon, who delivered a presentation on innovation in floating offshore wind.

He also spoke about the opportunities for funding from innovation competitions, with £1.8 billion available from European funding and nearly half a billion available from UK government.

Attendees were given an overview of the Seaweed in East Anglia project from Gill Malin from UEA and Richard Heal from Cefas, who spoke about the potential for co-locating seaweed farms with offshore wind projects.

Andy Holyland, managing director of Opergy Net Zero, also spoke about carbon baselining and decarbonisation – and the benefits that working together to reduce carbon footprints can have on the goal of reaching net zero by 2050.

Further speakers gave updates on Freeport East, Peel Ports, Associated British Ports, the Lowestoft PowerPark and the Great Yarmouth O&M Campus, all projects which will strengthen and support the capability and future potential of offshore wind in the region.

If you’re interested in being a member of EastWind, get in touch  at ewoc.co.uk or email hello@ewoc.co.uk