Growing marine firm’s new Great Yarmouth office

The managing director of offshore marine firm Seajacks said he was positioning himself for big offshore wind contracts in the North Sea as he cut the turf for the first new building in the Great Yarmouth enterprise zone.

The company which owns jack-up vessels is set to move out of the Beacon Innovation Centre in Gorleston – where it moved in 2007 as a small start-up company – and will house more than 100 staff in the new offices and warehouses on South Beach Parade overlooking Great Yarmouth Outer Harbour. Last year it turned over �69m.

The �3m project is being funded by Hertfordshire-based Chaldean Properties which owns the five acre site in South Denes.

In August the government designated the Great Yarmouth site as one of six areas in a Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth enterprise zone which will enjoy relaxed planning rules and tax breaks as well as fast broadband links. The zone is set to come into force in April.

Mr Ainslie said: 'The Enterprise Zone has been established and by the time we move in we should be eligible for the benefits. I think for us it is a logical thing as an offshore marine company that we migrate into this part of the town. The establishment of the enterprise zone gave us the extra boost and confirmed that this is where we wanted to locate. Hopefully it will be a catalyst for other companies.'

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He said the firm was after the big prize which is the third round of the off-shore wind turbines in the North Sea which would be constructed around 2015, but contracts will start to be awarded next year.

He said: 'Great Yarmouth is full of trained offshore people. It has been the off shore supply base for four years. There is no doubt that we need the skills to go offshore, so why go anywhere else? We are not an embryonic company any more. We've had equipment scattered around Great Yarmouth, so it will be good to have everything in one place.'

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Mr Ainslie added: 'This it the first big new development since the Outer Harbour was finished. It is the Outer Harbour which brought us here. We will use the Outer Harbour as a home base for our vessels.'

The five-acre plot of land is also being looked at as a possible site for a new Skills for Energy Centre.

The new offices and warehouse will be constructed by Yarmouth firm Elm Contracts Ltd and the architects are Paul Robinson Partnerships (UK) LLP.

Mr Ainslie said he was pleased the project was being undertaken by Yarmouth-based companies.

'It is our hope that a number of jobs will be created for the local area in what is a difficult time for the construction industry.'

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