Around £75m has been pledged to the Able Marine Energy Park, on the south bank of the River Humber and £20m to the Teesworks Offshore Manufacturing Centre on the River Tees, to support offshore wind farms, the government has said.

Construction will begin later this year to upgrade the two ports with new infrastructure, helping to revitalise both historical coastal communities.

The two regions are well-established offshore wind hubs, with the Humber region already home to six operational offshore wind farms, including the largest in the world – Hornsea One.

Once completed, the two ports are expected to support the development of up to 9GW offshore wind projects annually, which is adequate to power around eight million homes.

Boris Johnson said the schemes were “a major step towards producing the clean, cheap energy we need to power our homes and economy without damaging the environment.”

The two ports will house seven firms, the first of which is GE Renewable Energy at Teesworks, which will build 350ft (107m)-long turbine blades.

The blades will be made for the Dogger Bank project more than 77 miles (125km) off the Yorkshire coast which, upon its completion in 2026, is set to be the UK’s largest offshore wind farm with the capacity to produce 40GW of energy from offshore wind by 2030 – enough to power every home in the country.

President and CEO of GE Renewable Energy Jerôme Pécresse said: “This new plant will contribute to the development of an industrial cluster dedicated to offshore wind in the North East of England. We are delighted to announce such a commitment for the renewable energy industry, we believe it will help develop a strong talent pool through the hiring and more importantly training of future colleagues.”

RenewableUK chief executive Hugh McNeal added: “GE Renewable Energy’s new blade turbine manufacturing plant will transform a former steelworks site on Teesside into a high-tech clean energy powerhouse, creating thousands of highly skilled jobs in our UK supply chain. This announcement marks the start of the next generation of offshore wind manufacturing.”

The announcement is a huge step forward in delivering the government’s 10 Point Plan for a green industrial revolution and lays the groundwork for the UK to take advantage of the booming offshore market in the UK and internationally.

The new plant will directly create around 750 of the 3,000 high quality jobs created by the Teesside port and nearly 1,500 indirect jobs in the area.

Business and energy secretary Kwasi Kwarteng described the offshore wind sector as “a major British industrial success story”.

He said: “While the UK has the largest installed capacity of offshore wind in the world, we are determined to ensure we are fully capturing the economic benefits in this country.

“To ensure our businesses, supply chain and high-skilled workforce can fully share in the sector’s success, today’s investment in the Humber region and Teesside will put the UK in pole position to land new offshore wind investors. In the process it will ramp up our domestic manufacturing base and create thousands of good jobs in our industrial heartlands.”

For more information visit the UK government website. Responsible Business News will provide updates when available.

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