Work has started on a major project to boost the region’s offshore energy sector as demolition work begins on South Denes Road to facilitate the creation of a new £18m Operations and Maintenance (O&M) Campus for Great Yarmouth.
The partnership project, being delivered by Norfolk County Council, with support from Great Yarmouth Borough Council, New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and Port Authority (Peel Ports) seeks to capitalise on the now well-established offshore renewables sector off the east coast and the Enterprise Zone that covers sites in Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft.
The project is supported by £6m from New Anglia LEP’s Getting Building Fund.
As a key investment opportunity under Great Yarmouth’s Town Deal and the borough council’s strategy for economic growth its delivery is expected to provide a welcome boost to the local economy; supporting the delivery of new homes and employment growth in the area.
Councillor Graham Plant, deputy leader of Norfolk County Council and cabinet member for growing the economy, said: “The offshore energy sector provides Great Yarmouth and Norfolk with arguably the single most important economic opportunity for a generation. Oil and Gas has been a mainstay of the local economy for over 50 years and the recent emergence of offshore renewables has presented Great Yarmouth’s port, its supply chain and its skills base with the chance of enjoying hugely significant growth and investment.
“Preparing the site for further development, aided by the creation of Great Yarmouth’s Third River Crossing, we hope to stimulate much needed housing and employment growth, supporting our environmental goals and collective recovery from the pandemic through investment in green energy.”
Cllr Carl Smith, leader of Great Yarmouth Borough Council, said: “After 50-plus years in the industry, it’s with pride that we say Great Yarmouth is recognised as England’s energy sector capital.
“Alongside the Third River Crossing, Market Place investment and the new Marina Centre redevelopment, this infrastructure investment will provide further potential for the borough, positively impacting local businesses and offering job opportunities to residents as Great Yarmouth’s regeneration and economic growth continues to develop.”
Chris Starkie, Chief Executive of New Anglia LEP, said: “I’m delighted to see work beginning on the O&M Campus. Based on one of our Enterprise Zone sites, this is a strategically important project for the region and our world-leading energy sector.
“The project will attract investment and new businesses, create new jobs and help to further secure our coast’s strength as a hub for renewable energy.”
Already receiving £6m in central government funding via New Anglia LEP’s Getting Building Fund, the project seeks to utilise land in ownership of the Borough Council at the southern tip of the South Denes peninsula by making it more accessible and attractive for further investment from companies engaged with offshore wind farm development and maintenance over the coming 25 years.
The phase 1 demolition works will enable 170m of river quay refurbishment and upgrading, along with the creation of new vessel pontoons and delivery of a revised road layout and associated infrastructure to optimise the land available for future development.
Subject to planning consent, this work could be completed by Summer 2022, ahead of the completion of Great Yarmouth’s Third River Crossing.
The additional funding needed to enable the works will be provided by the two councils and LEP via future business rate pool contributions.