£550m green energy park set to create 10,000 jobs

THE Government has finally approved what promises to be the biggest offshore wind manufacturing facility in Europe, leading to calls for the scheme to get under way with no further delays.

Artist's impression of the Able Marine Energy Park on the Humber

The announcement by Transport Secretary Robert Goodwill could see as many as 4,000 jobs being created at the Able Marine Energy Park in north Lincolnshire. Together with the Able Logistics Park, which already has planning consent, the Able Marine Energy Park represents a total investment of £550m and the creation of almost 10,000 jobs.

Peter Stephenson, Able founder and Executive Chairman, said: “The Able Marine Energy Park’s significance has been compared to the impact of the Nissan development in the North East and I do not believe this is an exaggeration.

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“The Humber is ideally placed in close proximity to the proposed world’s largest offshore wind farms and, coupled with the scale of the site and inherent strengths of local people and businesses, we have the very best package to offer the emerging wind sector.”

Coun Liz Redfern, leader of North Lincolnshire Council, said the development could require around 1m tonnes of steel each year massively boosting the Tata steelworks at Scunthorpe.

“This is fantastic news and a great opportunity which will unlock the economic potential of the Humber estuary,” she said. “The go-ahead today signifies a real turning point in the manufacturing and engineering industry and brings a significant boost to local industry and jobs.”

The decision comes after repeated delays. Able UK has been battling to win planning permission for the 900-acre site, which it says is large enough to house several major manufacturers and supply chain firms.

Yesterday it said it had memorandums of understanding with firms covering around two-thirds of the site.

A final decision from the DfT was originally due in May, but was delayed until the summer owing to concerns over its environmental impact.

In July, then-Transport Minister Norman Baker said he was “minded to accept” the proposal – but again delayed a final decision over outstanding environmental issues. Chairman of the Humber LEP Lord Haskins said: “The Able Marine Energy Park is our largest enterprise zone site and a critical part of our plans for growing the Humber as the UK’s energy estuary. I want to see it get under way without any further delays.”