The full force behind wind turbine manufacturing
27 June 2012
Leading politicians met yesterday with inward investment experts
to discuss the future following Vestas’ decision not to build wind
turbines at the Port of Sheerness.
Representatives from Kent County Council, Swale Borough Council
and Locate In Kent got together following the announcement by the
wind turbine manufacturer last Friday (22 June). With enquiries
already coming in about the site, local leaders have pledged to do
all they can to support the site’s owner, Peel Ports, to secure new
investment and new jobs.
Kent County Council Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic
Development, Mark Dance, said: “We are
putting our full force behind wind turbine manufacturing at the
Port of Sheerness. It is the premier site for the industry and so
much is in place for the right company to come in and invest. They
can be assured of support from the port’s owner, alongside the
borough council, county council and Locate In Kent.”
Leader of Swale Borough Council, Andrew Bowles, said: “We have
got the best port for wind turbine manufacturing enterprise on the
east coast of Britain and that port has recent and good planning
permission. The port owners will be marketing this opportunity
among wind industry businesses, and as the public sector we will be
working with them to maximise their effort.
“Sheerness has been hard hit by recent job losses and some of
the highest unemployment rates in the county. But the potential for
growth at the port is massive – so we’re committed to doing
everything we can to bring new investment and new jobs to
Working with Locate in Kent, the county council has already been
successful in securing Sheerness and the Medway Estuary as a Centre
for Offshore Renewable Engineering (CORE) by central government –
recognising its position as a priority investment location within
KCC has worked with education providers and business to look at
the skills that new manufacturing investment would require.
Together with industry and central government, more than £2 million
has been invested in the Swale Skills Centre at Sittingbourne –
just 15 minutes from the port – which offers a state-of-the-art
training centre with courses to meet the needs of both Kent’s
existing wind industry and future investors.