Ian Levy MP has welcomed £6.7m of investment from the government that will benefit Blyth Valley and south east Northumberland. The funding will be shared between three projects that will create jobs and bring about regeneration.
In Blyth, the town’s reputation as a leader in renewable energy will be enhanced through the creation of the UK’s first offshore wind centre for the test and validation of ‘Robotics and Autonomous Systems’. This will be part of the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult and will provide new jobs and research opportunities for companies seeking to accelerate product and service development.
Funding has also been committed to NEP1 which is a prime employment site on Blyth Estuary with the funding to be used for completing reclamation and remediation. The third initiative is additional investment to support Northumberland County Council’s retail and leisure plans for Bedlington town centre.
Ian Levy said: “This is brilliant news for Blyth Valley and the surrounding area. It once again confirms the government’s commitment to our region and having made the case for investment I am delighted that the response is a multi-million pound allocation.
“The contribution to the offshore wind centre is critically important and means that Blyth will continue to be the UK’s leading technology innovation and research centre for offshore renewable energy. NEP1 is a strategically important site for the whole county and will hopefully lead to hundreds of high quality and skilled jobs once the site preparation works are complete.”
“Blyth first developed around the river and history is now repeating itself with huge potential for job creation on land that is coming back into use. This funding is another step forward in rejuvenating Blyth Valley by providing opportunities for local residents to work in sectors that will shape the economy for decades to come.”
The £6.7m is part of the New Deal for Britain that the Prime Minister announced in June which included £900m for a range of growth projects in England over the course of this year and next. Blyth has already had a £750,000 investment confirmed with having town deal status. It is anticipated that a town centre improvement scheme will be brought forward and delivered over the next few months.