Region poised to become world leader in offshore wind as East Anglia ONE makes it a new ‘construction hotspot’
- Credit: Archant
East Anglia has topped a construction projects table as a result of the East Anglia ONE offshore wind farm taking shape off the Suffolk coast.
Industry analyst Barbour ABI points to regeneration and infrastructure projects such as East Anglia ONE as one of the reasons for a shift in construction hotspots away from London and the South East and towards other parts of the country.
Michael Dall, lead economist at Barbour ABI, said the government focus on raising the levels of major infrastructure projects, in particular public sector schemes such as offshore wind farms, energy plants and motorway upgrades, have considerably boosted construction value in more rural regions.
Barbour ABI, in its Regional Construction Hotspots in Great Britain 2017 report, lists the scheme at the top of 10 infrastructure projects for the region at £1.8bn. Also on the list, is the Galloper offshore wind farm (£750m) and Bury St Edmunds Eastern Relief Road (£15m). Among big residential schemes listed are a £48m 380 home scheme at Weeley, near Clacton-on Sea, and a £30m 234 home development planned for Union Road, Onehouse, Stowmarket.
Charlie Jordan, project director for ScottishPower Renewables' East Anglia ONE wind farm, said they were pleased with the recognition. 'We see the potential for East Anglia to become a world leader in offshore wind. We have already started pre-construction works for the £2.5bn East Anglia ONE offshore wind farm providing huge local investment, job creation, and training opportunities,' he said.
'An example of this investment is our contract with the Port of Lowestoft, which will be the operations and maintenance hub for the 30 year life span of East Anglia ONE, an agreement worth £25m. We have also co-invested £5m in preparing Great Yarmouth Port for offshore wind farm construction activity, securing its long-term potential.
'We have also engaged with a record number of local businesses through our supply chain events to highlight the diverse range of opportunities that East Anglia ONE and our future projects offer the region.
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'East Anglia ONE is the first of four large scale offshore wind projects we are planning to build off the coast of Suffolk and Norfolk, which will deliver economic benefits to the region for decades to come.'