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Offshore wind industry regenerating coast with new workspaces

A diverse mix of purpose-built workspaces and expansion facilities are being created in the East of England offshore wind industry to welcome new businesses.
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An initial £25 million investment has been made to develop the Lowestoft Eastern Energy Facility (LEEF). Credit: ABP

A pipeline of multi-billion-pound offshore wind investment, world-leading research, development and innovation, an ambitious energy supply chain, dynamic skills infrastructure and access to grant funding – all of these are within the grasp of businesses that move into the range of new accommodation under construction at the heart of the growing clean energy industry. 

A diverse mix of purpose-built workspaces and expansion facilities – both commercial and industrial – are being created in the East of England offshore wind industry to welcome new businesses. Some are quayside and are convenient for both river and deep-water ports, with a network in place to make relocation simple.

Companies moving to the region will instantly find themselves part of a collaborative environment of partnership and support among almost 1,000 businesses planning their future growth in offshore wind. 

In this article we explore four key projects underway on land that are close to the ports of Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft. 

In Lowestoft, regeneration and development plans focus on port operator Associated British Ports’ five-year plan to develop the Lowestoft Eastern Energy Facility (LEEF) with an initial £25 million infrastructure investment and the PowerPark industrial area immediately to the north of LEEF.  The LEEF investment is intended to directly support the wind industry with state-of-the-art construction, operations and maintenance infrastructure. 

From 2024, LEEF East will dramatically increase marine capacity and capability for offshore wind with three new deep-water berths, new crew transfer vessel berthing and eight acres of hinterland. 

The neighbouring PowerPark has been designated by East Suffolk Council as a location for clean energy businesses and is already home to a number of offshore wind developers, including SSE and RWE's Greater Gabbard Offshore Wind Farm base, ScottishPower Renewables’ £25 million East Anglia ONE O&M base and the internationally recognised innovation and incubation hub for clean energy business OrbisEnergy. 

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East Suffolk Council’s phase one development of PowerPark will see a prestigious new-build scheme comprising 14 flexible businesses units, ranging from 34 square metres to 223 square metres, ready for occupation in September 2022. The site will include units with office, warehousing and workshop space with 5-metre-high eaves and allocated on-site parking. It will be an exemplar of sustainable building methods, using clean power supply, energy efficiency and storage technologies. The site on Newcombe Road has easy access to the port, OrbisEnergy and East Coast College’s Energy Skills Centre. 

In Great Yarmouth, close to the deep-water outer harbour and at the entrance to the River Yare, work is underway on the first phase of an £18 million offshore wind operations and maintenance campus, to be completed next spring. Norfolk County Council, Great Yarmouth Borough Council and New Anglia LEP are working together to deliver the offshore energy O&M campus, redeveloping vacant parts of land owned by Great Yarmouth Borough Council. 

The 32,040 square metres of prime industrial and commercial space is expected to create about 650 jobs and attract specialist businesses in the operations and maintenance sphere to invest in the area. 

GY Incubator

A new Great Yarmouth business incubator scheme on South Beach Parade will deliver workspace and innovation facilities for small to medium sized enterprises and start-up businesses supporting offshore wind, bringing more employment opportunities. 

Units will be designed for companies to co-exist with similar organisations in affordable, adaptable and flexible workspaces, to share knowledge and explore and pursue business collaboration and entrepreneurial opportunities.

Ian Pease, of GENERATE, said: "Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft are prime locations for clean energy-related growth. These developments, with the support of GENERATE championing and showcasing the region’s energy investment opportunities and working alongside the New Anglia LEP Inward Investment team, makes relocation straightforward and swift. 

“There is much talk about levelling up. The regeneration of our coastal areas to serve this burgeoning industry is also creating the most collaborative region. We are on a mission to change how the UK is powered and be at the forefront of addressing climate change.” 

For further information contact info@generate-energy.co.uk