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Offshore wind deal to invest £250m in supply chain

A major deal between industry and government will see a third of all UK electricity come from offshore wind farms by 2030, opening up huge opportunities for manufacturers in the supply chain.

Announced in March, the joint government-industry Offshore Wind Sector Deal will invest £250 million in the UK supply chain, including a collaborative industry programme that will offer practical help for companies seeking to win contracts in the market.

With the aim of maintaining the UK’s position as the largest European market for offshore wind, it represents a huge opportunity for companies in a range of industries, from oil and gas to aerospace and automotive.

Over £40 billion of infrastructure investment will be enabled by the deal, with commissioned projects committing to a target of sourcing 60 per cent of total lifetime content in the UK. Dr Jenifer Baxter, Head of Engineering at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, said it was “good news for engineering across the UK”.

Claire Perry, Energy and Clean Growth Minister, said:

“By 2030 a third of our electricity will come from offshore wind, generating thousands of high-quality jobs across the UK, a strong UK supply chain and a fivefold increase in exports. This is our modern Industrial Strategy in action.”

In total, it is hoped the deal will triple jobs in offshore wind to 27,000 in just ten years, as well as increasing the proportion of women in the workforce to a third.

The North West already has a strong presence in the industry and is currently home to the world’s largest offshore wind farm - Walney Extension off the Cumbrian coast.

Benj Sykes, Co-chair of the Offshore Wind Industry Council and UK Country Manager of Offshore at Ørsted - the company behind Walney Extension and other projects in Liverpool Bay - said:

“Our supply chain extends to every part of the country, with many firms located in emerging clusters of activity creating centres of excellence, and companies ranging from catering services to SMEs and to large multinationals up and down the coast benefitting from this clean growth boom.

“As a result, the UK leads the world in designing, building and operating offshore wind farms, optimising their performance to help continue driving costs down, as well as manufacturing blades, turbine towers and cables. Overall, we expect the domestic and export market to grow to nearly £5 billion a year by the end of the next decade, in a global market worth over £30 billion a year.”

The Offshore Wind Sector Deal is the ninth of its kind to be established under the government’s Industrial Strategy. Other sectors with a deal include aerospace, artificial intelligence, automotive, construction, creative industries, life sciences, nuclear, and rail.

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