Northumberland well placed for vital jobs growth, says Levelling Up Minister

A Government minister says vital funding is helping to create new highly paid and highly skilled jobs in Northumberland.

By David Sedgwick
Friday, 11th March 2022, 4:19 pm
From left: Cllr Wojciech Plosza, portfolio holder for business at Northumberland County Council; Blyth Valley MP Ian Levy; Neil O'Brien MP; and Northumberland County Council leader Glen Sanderson.

Neil O’Brien MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, visited Blyth on Friday to see first hand how it is leading the way in the green industrial revolution.

After visiting the town centre to see and hear how the proposed Town Fund investment will make a difference, he visited the Port of Blyth training centre to hear of plans for a new Energy Central Campus.

Energy Central is the UK’s unique port-based service, investment and growth cluster for companies operating in the offshore energy, subsea, decommissioning, battery manufacturing and renewable energy markets.

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Offering nearly 200hectars of strategic sites with access to low carbon power, it is a partnership between Advance Northumberland, Port of Blyth, Northumberland County Council and the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult.

More than £30million of government funding has been secured to provide the right conditions for economic growth.

Mr O’Brien heard of their plans to create a new campus to improve and boost training provision for the vital skills needed in the offshore and green energy industry.

Mr O’Brien said the Government had made a number of investments, including in Britishvolt’s gigafactory in nearby Cambois, to support local businesses and help create vital jobs.

He said: “The North East is well placed for industry growth and creating new jobs, as well as being vital in helping create more cleaner and greener energy rather than relying on importing from places like Russia.”

Speaking on plans for Blyth town, Mr O’Brien said: “What is being done is really inspiring. We need to make town centres more attractive places to visit and shop.

"More people are shopping online so we need to upgrade town centres like Blyth as we want people to come into them.

"New money is coming into the area which is creating a lot of opportunities.”

Cllr Glen Sanderson, leader of Northumberland County Council, said: “We are all working so well together here.

"Blyth was built on the back of the coal industry and now it’s going to lead the way on green energy.”