German engineering giant Siemens is to invest £160 million in wind turbine production and installation facilities in the UK, helping create 1,000 jobs.
The company had initially been working on plans to invest £80 million but it decided to revise it, providing a huge boost to the UK’s offshore wind industry and the Humber region.
The revised plan will be spread across two sites – the previously announced Green Port Hull construction, assembly and service facility and a new rotor blade manufacturing facility in nearby Paull in East Riding.
Siemens said it will invest £160 million across the two location and its port partner Associated British Ports (ABP) is investing a further £150 million in the Green Port Hull development.
The German company said 550 jobs would be created at the blade factory, building 75 metre-long rotor blades designed for its 6MW turbines and another 450 jobs at Green Port Hull.
Roland Aurich, Chief Executive of Siemens said: “Being able to further increase our presence in the UK with this significant commitment is great for Siemens, for the UK economy and for future generations, who will benefit from more secure and sustainable, low carbon energy.”
Prime Minister David Cameron welcomed the announcement as “a massive vote of confidence in our long-term economic plan”. He added: “This investment is going to create lots of new jobs and opportunities, meaning more financial security and peace of mind for families and a more resilient economy for our country.”
The Hull & Humber Chamber of Commerce is calling on skills trainers to provide a “high quality workforce” for the project.
Its new President Tim Durkin said: “Whilst this £310 million investment will bring much needed employment to the area, the priority now must be to ensure that skills trainers provide qualified applicants from the local area to fill those jobs and not applicants from outside the area. That will also enable our region to satisfy the requirements of the supply chain which will, in time, follow Siemens to the area.”
The blade factory is due to start production in the middle of 2016, with full production levels expected to reach the following year.