EFFORTS at Great Yarmouth Energy Park to free-up land and unlock opportunities for offshore energy sector-related businesses have taken a huge step forward with the exchange of contracts for the acquisition of another site for development.
Great Yarmouth is recognised as England’s offshore energy sector capital, with prospects of sharing in major investment in energy over the coming decades, including in oil and gas exploration, gas platform decommissioning, nuclear, and offshore windfarms.
The 50-acre energy park is being established to ensure that businesses related to the offshore energy sector continue to have suitable land available, close to the riverport and Outer Harbour, so the area is best placed to capture these anticipated future jobs, investment, economic growth and regeneration opportunities.
The scheme is a project of the Great Yarmouth Development Company, a joint venture between Great Yarmouth Borough Council and Norfolk County Council, which aims to pool skills and resources to unlock and accelerate economic development opportunities.
While the borough council already owns much of the land, work has been progressing to gain control of key sites within the park so they can be offered for sale or rent to growing offshore energy sector-related businesses, which would then invest and create jobs.
Following negotiations with the owners of the Millora Works site, contracts were exchanged on 26 August 2016 for the sale and purchase of this two-acre, strategically important site. Following exchange of contracts, the borough council has also withdrawn its Compulsory Purchase Order, made last year to support the acquisition of the site in the public interest.
Once completion of the acquisition has occurred, the Millora Works site will be promoted to offshore energy sector-related businesses. The new site borders the South Denes Business Park, a vacant site of 2.9 acres, providing the potential for the two sites to be merged for regeneration purposes.
Cllr Graham Plant, chairman of the Great Yarmouth Development Company and leader of Great Yarmouth Borough Council, said: “The anticipated acquisition of a further site is great news and represents another exciting opportunity for growing offshore energy sector-related businesses to invest and create new jobs and prosperity.
“The borough council is committed to working with partners to build on creating conditions for further investment locally, supporting sustainable economic growth and its benefits for communities. With the energy park, the borough council is working with the county council to unlock space for offshore energy-related businesses to continue to relocate to, and expand within, the borough to capitalise on growing opportunities in the sector, including in the growth areas of offshore wind and decommissioning. This amicable agreement with the owners of this site allows us to now formalise plans for demolition of the old industrial workshops.”
Cllr Stuart Clancy, chairman of Norfolk County Council’s economic sub-committee, said: “This latest development for Great Yarmouth comes after the recent approval of a bid for £1m government funding to progress the Third River Crossing project. The regeneration of the Millora Works site, together with a direct link between the town and the South Denes Business Park will further enhance the appeal of the area to potential investors.
“Working in partnership with the borough council to achieve these positive outcomes for Great Yarmouth is vital, especially in the wake of the recent devastating fire in the town.”
- Great Yarmouth Energy Park comprises a 50-acre area of existing employment land, which is already subject to a Local Development Order (LDO), making the planning permission process for energy industry-related use very straightforward. The park is adjacent to the Enterprise Zone, which is already targeted at the energy industry.
- The vision for the park is backed by key firms in the sector, including Seajacks, ODE and Aker Solutions, all of which have a Great Yarmouth presence, as well as organisations including New Anglia LEP, EEEGR (East of England Energy Group), Norfolk and Suffolk Energy Alliance, and Ventureforth, which owns about a third of the energy park site.
- To find out more about opportunities in Great Yarmouth and the Great Yarmouth Energy Park, contact the economic development team on 01493 846431 or visit www.greatyarmouthenergypark.co.uk