A taskforce which brings together MPs, councillors, businesses, the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult, the Port of Tyne, local authorities and the North of Tyne Combined Authority has set out a shared ambition for the Tyne to be a world leader in the offshore and renewable energy sectors.
The river already supports more than 6,000 jobs and has the potential to support thousands more including at new developments by two leading global businesses: Equinor’s Operations and Maintenance base for the world’s largest wind farm (Dogger Bank) located at the Port of Tyne in South Tyneside. Smulders Projects UK on the north bank of the Tyne produces large steel structures for the offshore wind and renewables industry and is supported by the existing supply chain along the river including Shepherd Offshore, SMD, IHC and Metec.
Positive developments further upstream include the new Sage arena and conference centre at Gateshead quays, which is set to open in 2024.
The venue will create 2,000 jobs and provide a £70 million boost to the economy whilst acting as a showcase for the region.
At a meeting on Friday, regional MPs, representatives from Local Authorities including Cllr Ged Bell, Newcastle City Council cabinet member for development, neighbourhoods and transport, and Cllr Karen Kilgour, Newcastle City Council’s deputy leader, the North of Tyne Combined Authority, the Port of Tyne, ORE Catapult and businesses agreed to work together to further increase investment to the Tyne – bringing thousands more jobs to the river.
In a joint statement the Tyne Taskforce set out its ambitious plans for the Tyne to be recognised as a global destination for offshore energy.
The statement said: We’re a region which works together and the Tyne Taskforce is a reflection of that, uniting people along the length of the Tyne and beyond, and letting investors from around the world know what’s great about our River Tyne.
“The Tyne has everything that forward-thinking investors need in order to grow their business: a skilled and loyal workforce, a pipeline of future talent, a strong focus on innovation, an established supply chain, competitive costs – and of course it’s an unbeatable place to live and work.
“We will look to maximise investment in the river with a focus on future proofing the river’s infrastructure, unlocking key development sites whilst managing the river to keep it healthy and thriving.
“By working on behalf of our communities, we will ensure that the benefits of job growth and prosperity along the river are directly felt by all of our communities.”