OrbisEnergy celebrates first anniversary

OrbisEnergy the East of England's offshore renewables hub celebrated its first anniversary on Wednesday after completing its busiest month of tenancy enquiries.

OrbisEnergy the East of England's offshore renewables hub celebrated its first anniversary on Wednesday after completing its busiest month of tenancy enquiries.

The five floor building, which is managed by business support agency NWES, is the region's flagship centre for offshore renewable business, providing state-of-the art offices, virtual tenancy and conference facilities.

Owned by Suffolk County Council, OrbisEnergy is the culmination of years of intensive work by a number of partners, funders and agencies, led by the East of England Development Agency (EEDA) to create a hub at the heart of the multi-billion pound business opportunity emerging off the east coast.

With the world's largest offshore wind farm located approximately 15 miles off the Suffolk coast, investment in the area is set to increase exponentially and tenants at OrbisEnergy are already seeing the benefits of being part of the hub's network.

One tenant success story is that of lifting solutions supplier, Certex UK who recently launched a new facility dedicated to the renewable energy market. Operating as part of the Certex Offshore Division, the renewable centre is overseen by Jody Potter: 'OrbisEnergy has provided us with the platform, help and support to further develop our business in the renewable energy industry. With the help of its highly-trained, friendly staff, the centre has become a great place to work and we look forward to many more years working together', commented Jody.

OrbisEnergy is already half full with 14 tenant businesses specifically operating in the renewable energy supply chain. Recent tenant signings include the energy industry association, East of England Energy Group and marine survey company Osiris Projects.

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The hub's conference centre has also played host to a number of significant industry events, including the signing of the POWER Cluster partnership agreement by a European consortium, various meet the buyer workshops and a number of community and schools events to raise awareness on renewable energy and the green agenda.

To mark the OrbisEnergy first birthday, a champagne reception was held for tenants in the building's popular conference facility overlooking the North Sea, where Fran Toomey, assistant director, economic development and planning for Suffolk County Council cut the anniversary cake.

Bruce Provan, Suffolk County Council's portfolio holder for skills and economic development, said: 'Building OrbisEnergy has only been possible through strong partnership working between Waveney District Council, EEDA and the county council and we have an excellent managing agent in NWES. At Suffolk County Council we recognise the future growth potential of the marine engineering sector and we are proud to be the owner of such a flagship building which in its first year of operation is already proving to be a great success with both tenants and the local community. '

John Balch, strategic director for NWES, the management and operating company for OrbisEnergy, said: 'This first year anniversary is significant for all those involved in the OrbisEnergy project. Its success is the result of a combined effort from all partners supported by buy-in from local energy businesses. Tenancy enquiries doubled last month which we see as a clear indication that OrbisEnergy is in the right place at the right time. We have a town with a marine history which is brimming with skills and expertise that unarguably places this region in the most commercially advantageous place it has been in for years.'