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Port closer to jobs bonanza

PUBLISHED: 09:30 04 November 2008 | UPDATED: 21:41 05 July 2010

Lowestoft is moving closer to its goal of a jobs and investment bonanza by becoming the wind energy capital of the UK, according to its MP.

Bob Blizzard, who represents the Waveney constituency, gave his backing to the town's prospects just days before a new £9.

Lowestoft is moving closer to its goal of a jobs and investment bonanza by becoming the wind energy capital of the UK, according to its MP.

Bob Blizzard, who represents the Waveney constituency, gave his backing to the town's prospects just days before a new £9.4m centre for renewable energy companies is opened at Ness Point.

His optimism was reinforced after a map showing how crucial the Lowestoft area will be in the future development of offshore windfarms was revealed.

At the end of September, the Crown Estate invited companies to bid for the right to set up offshore wind turbines in nine designated zones around the UK by 2020.

One of the sectors stretches from north Suffolk and to north Norfolk and Mr Blizzard has now seen a map showing how close Lowestoft will be to the new area of development, which should quadruple the present output of wind turbines from 8GW to 33GW of energy.

Mr Blizzard said: “This brings us even closer to our aim of becoming the wind energy capital of the UK. The publication of this map confirms the next round of wind energy is set to bring a jobs and investment bonanza to Lowestoft.

“I have been lobbying the Crown Estate to recognise the strategic importance of Lowestoft for offshore wind, but this goes even further than expected, with a huge chunk of the coast off Lowestoft allocated as a prime spot for offshore windfarms.

“The map recognises what we already - that with our location as the most easterly point in the UK and our state-of-the art £9m Orbis centre, Lowestoft is the perfect hub for renewable energy companies seeking to develop and maintain offshore wind farms.”

Meanwhile, a special key handover has taken place signalling the countdown to the official opening of the Orbis Energy centre on Friday.

The five-storey business centre, built on stilts just 30 yards from the shoreline at Britain's most easterly point, boasts 30 office units for renewable energy companies.

The centre is owned by Suffolk County Council and managed by business support specialists NWES. The project received £6m in funding from the East of England Development Agency and was also part-financed by the European Union with additional contributions from Waveney District Council.

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