HULL could soon be at the centre of the UK’s renewable energy industry through plans revealed by Europe’s largest engineering company Siemens for a multi-million-pound manufacturing plant to build offshore wind turbines.
Civic leaders say the deal, agreed with Associated British Ports, could signal a new era of prosperity for the city and the wider region – creating up to 10,000 jobs – and that wind could do for Hull what oil did for Aberdeen in the 1970s.
But they have cautioned there is still work to be done after the parties announced they had signed a memorandum of understanding with a view to reaching “definitive agreements” this year.
The announcement has, however, come as a massive boost for Hull just two weeks after the city council said it needed to axe up to 1,400 jobs to save £40m.
Hull Council leader Carl Minns said: “It’s the beginning of the end of 30 years of economic decline if we play our cards right. We have a once-in-a-generation chance to get Hull back to a prosperous city and while I’m leader I’ll make sure we’ll grab it with both hands.
“It will be the dawn of a new economic era for the area but we’ve got to keep pushing. The job of the council now is to help build up a critical mass of industries around wind.”
He added: “It’s absolutely like Aberdeen if you replace oil and gas with wind. Siemens could do for Hull what Nissan did for Sunderland or Toyota did for Derby and the Midlands.”
The deal is also a victory for this newspaper’s campaign, Powering Yorkshire’s Future, which aims to ensure the region reaps the full economic benefits of the massive expansion of offshore wind farms.
Business Secretary Vince Cable
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