North East cash boost for green industry

A government funding programme to back heavy industry in Newcastle and surrounding towns will include cash for low-carbon projects.

Business Secretary Vince Cable announced a £1.3 million package to support carbon capture and storage (CCS) in the region and a further £2.3 million for other projects under the Tees Valley Industrial Programme (TVIP).

Speaking on a visit to the North East this week, he said: “Continued investment in the North East is extremely important as we rebalance our regional economies, but this needs to be the right kind of support.

“It’s vital that any grants will garner real benefits for businesses and communities by growing local economies and skills.

“That’s why I am delighted to announce this funding, especially for Carbon Capture and Storage, which the North East is well placed to capitalise on. These projects will create a wealth of opportunities for local businesses and create new highly-skilled jobs.”

He added the government is committed to public funding support of industries, which can “sustain widespread growth” such as in the environmental sector.

Dr Cable spent time at the National Renewable Energy Centre (Narec) in Blyth where a new £15 million marine test rig is being built.

The facility will provide a purpose built structure suing the marine testing docks on the Narec site, and support research and development into marine low carbon technologies.

“It’s vital that British-based companies are supported to take advantage of new opportunities in the renewables sector and the testing facilities here at Narec are key to encouraging more investment in the UK,” Dr Cable said.

“The UK has a strong presence in these markets. Clipper is building a factory in Newcastle for the manufacture of their prototype wind turbine blades, Mitsubishi is building an offshore wind R&D centre here in the UK, and there are hundreds of UK grown firms supplying, amongst other things, cables, towers, and foundations and testing marine energy devices. All of this means jobs and growth for economies throughout the country.”

David Gibbs

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