The increasing importance of the Port of Blyth and the town’s Energy Central partnership to the future of the offshore energy and renewables industry in the UK has been witnessed by the Secretary of State for International Trade, Liz Truss, who visited the region today.
Having spent time on the river itself, the Secretary of State saw the port’s rapid development into one of the UK’s leading offshore energy support hubs first-hand while also learning more about two key features of Blyth’s Energy Central offering – the world-leading renewables test facilities of the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult and major investment opportunity presented by the £32m, 200Ha quayside development project taking place at the Northumberland Energy Park.
Energy Central is a unique partnership between Port of Blyth, Advance Northumberland, Northumberland County Council and Offshore Energy Renewable (ORE) Catapult, designed to create the perfect environment for inward investment from the offshore and renewable energy sectors.
The Member of Parliament for Blyth Valley Ian welcomed the minister on her visit. He said: "The more I learn about the Port and its activity, the more I am grateful for all it is doing to boost the area. They're also working hard to link up with other partners like the government, the county council and the local community.
"I'll be doing all I can to help the Port grow and continue its good work in the Blyth Valley community."
International Trade secretary Liz Truss said: “I was delighted to see the progress the Port of Blyth is making in the renewable energy sector, and its instrumental role in supporting local businesses and investment in the region.
“Once we leave the EU we will be establishing Freeports, to drive growth, attract investment and ensure towns and cities across the UK benefit from Brexit trade opportunities.”
Martin Lawlor, Chief Executive of Port of Blyth, said: “Hosting the Secretary of State has given us a fabulous opportunity to highlight everything that Blyth has to offer in terms of international trade via the offshore and renewable energy sectors as well as the potential here for growth, jobs and opportunities, at a local, national and international level.”
“Our Energy Central partnership with the County Council, Advance Northumberland and ORE Catapult, continues to ensure that we’re seen by the world’s offshore energy sector as one of the UK’s most dynamic port destinations for major projects, innovation and investment. As such we’d like to thank the Secretary of State for visiting and taking such an interest in our development.”