GRP chair: 'Offshore wind is the most transformational inward investment we have seen'

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 6 Feb 2019

Grimsby Renewables Partnership chairman Andy Goudie described offshore wind as “the most transformational inward investment we have seen in the town,” adding that it was providing an “industrial renaissance for the borough”.

The executive director at Grimsby Institute opened #GRP19 at Humber Royal Hotel, where more than 300 people attended.

He said: “investors, local businesses, local community representatives, members and students, this is what Grimsby Renewables Partnership is all about. We are here to create opportunities to learn, to trade with investors and others, and understand what is going on in terms of renewable energy in the broadest sense.

“We want to ensure we feel as mush trade benefit and positive impact for this borough as possible.”

The 100-plus membership organisation has grown with the industry, from an informal working group to a support network that has a seat at the table of the area’s strategic taskforce.

And while major speakers from Innogy, Orsted, MHI Vestas, ABP and RenewableUK brought the headlines, the hosting team was delighted to see a strong attendance from schools and colleges to learn about the industry, with a virtual reality booth a highlight for many. 

North East Lincolnshire Council leader Ray Oxby underlined the important partnership, stating how the industry had “come from humble beginnings” and that “it was worth taking a few minutes to reflect on it, and how far we have come”.

It was held 10 years on from the first full power at Lynn and Inner Dowsing. And came as 1.5GW is almost installed, with a clear path to 8GW in development.

During the event, one of the earliest pioneers and founding fathers of the cluster now set, Siemens’ David Hughes, was remembered, having passed away the previous week aged 62.

Cllr Oxby went on to describe Orsted’s decision to base here as “just the start” of the significant clustering. He said: “It would have taken a leap of faith from their side, but one which I’m immensely grateful they took.

“The renewables industry and associated supply chains are absolutely core to what we do. We believe in the future, and we’re doing everything we can to support this massively important sector for North East Lincolnshire. 

“Offshore wind continues to dominate the renewables industries, and I’d like to formally welcome Triton Knoll’s commitment to an operations and maintenance based location on Port of Grimsby.

“Confidence is growing in our patch. In the last few years we’ve done some remarkable work, and while there has been a lot of news about securing money and plans, we’re starting to see spades in the ground on a number of projects.”

He highlighted the £40 million South Humber Industrial Investment Programme, £7.2 million in Cleethorpes regeneration and the “£50 million plus” Grimsby Town Deal - a UK first.

“To invest and grow the whole of the Humber, we need to work together,” Cllr Oxby said. “Administrative boundaries shouldn’t be the dividing line between us when investment, jobs and opportunities present themselves. True partnership is indeed my mantra and hallmark.

“By working together, in partnership, we’ll be able to deliver the jobs, the housing, the land and the infrastructure that’s needed to support a sustainable long term economy. The GRP is an important part of helping us to deliver our economic future. 

“I’m delighted to be here once again, as leader of North East Lincolnshire Council, and several years into our fantastic journey with the renewables partnership in this area.” 

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