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Push to promote Lowestoft as energy hub

PUBLISHED: 09:32 16 November 2009 | UPDATED: 15:16 06 July 2010

A MAJOR push has begun to persuade green energy firms to make Lowestoft their operations base when building wind turbines off the East Anglian coast.

The latest round of licences from the Crown Estate to build offshore windfarms includes "zone five" - an area just 25 kilometres out of Lowestoft.

A MAJOR push has begun to persuade green energy firms to make Lowestoft their operations base when building wind turbines off the East Anglian coast.

The latest round of licences from the Crown Estate to build offshore windfarms includes "zone five" - an area just 25 kilometres out of Lowestoft.

The 1st East Urban Regeneration Company and Associated British Ports (ABP) and a series of public and private sector partners have begun to lobby for investment in the town.

The group has already set out its case in a four-page dossier for developers to make Lowestoft their first choice for an operations and maintenance base.

Bruce Provan, a director of 1st East and Suffolk County Council portfolio holder for economic development and skills, said: "We're laying down the welcome mat to these companies and the message to them is very clear - we want you in Lowestoft.

"Lowestoft's proximity to zone five (Norfolk) is clearly an advantage but the town has so much more to offer, including a skilled workforce, further education and higher education colleges providing relevant courses and an extensive supply chain with more than 40 years of experience in the Southern North Sea energy business.

"We are also promoting the 15-hectare PowerPark site, where land and quay space is being specifically earmarked for energy companies.

"It's a tremendously exciting opportunity for Lowestoft and we are going all out to attract the successful licence applicant to base their operations and maintenance facilities here."

Zone five is one of nine licences for new offshore windfarms in British waters and should generate 5,000 megawatts of electricity - 10 times that of Greater Gabbard, the world's biggest offshore windfarm under construction off the Essex coast.

The organisations supporting Lowestoft's bid to provide an operations and maintenance base include the SLP Group, Suffolk County Council, Waveney District Council, Renewables East, the East of England Energy Group, NWES and the East of England Development Agency.


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