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Eric Pickles marks start of preparation work for £450m Able Marine Energy Park

In a major step forward in establishing the Humber as a world-class centre for the renewable energy industries, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles will today mark the start of work in preparation for the development of the Able Marine Energy Park (AMEP).

The infrastructure programme is being supported through Mr Pickles’ department with a £15m grant provided through the Enterprise Zone Foundations for Growth Capital Grant Fund following a successful bid from the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership.

Senior figures from developers Able, North Lincolnshire Council and the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership were at the AMEP site near Immingham to see Mr Pickles begin work on the infrastructure programme which is set to continue until March next year, creating around 350 full time equivalent construction jobs.
The £450m AMEP project is set to create over 4,100 direct jobs and is seen as vital to the plans for growing the Humber as the UK’s Energy Estuary.

Peter Stephenson, Able Executive Chairman, said:

“Mr Pickle’s visit and his Department’s awarding of the grant is, I believe, a huge vote of confidence in our ambitions to provide at AMEP the full range of facilities needed by the emerging renewable energy sectors.

“For a sector where proximity to market means everything to everyone, it makes sense to offer a big space in the right place, with substantial quays built to accommodate the deployment of large industrial components to the North Sea and beyond – all this, in the heart of the largest offshore wind market in the world.”

Cllr Liz Redfern, leader, North Lincolnshire Council, said:

“The Secretary of State’s visit today—and the grant for the infrastructure work needed to kick-start AMEP – once again underlines the critical importance this development can play in transforming the economy of the South Bank and indeed the wider region.

“The grant, which will, of course, bring immediate benefits through the jobs created during the construction period, also demonstrates the Government’s confidence in the council’s and Able’s shared objectives to put our area – and the UK as a whole – at the forefront of the new energy revolution.”

Kishor Tailor, Chief Executive of the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership, said:

“It is great news to have the Secretary of State confirm the grant we helped to secure from the Government with AMEP and North Lincolnshire Council. This will bring forward the first phase of work on our largest Humber Enterprise Zone site and the hundreds of jobs associated with the first phase of work.

“The energy park project is a critical part of our plans for growing the Humber as the UK’s energy estuary and this commitment from Government will increase confidence for investors in the site and begin its transformation.”

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles, said:

“With the majority of the North Sea’s offshore operations thriving side by side, the Humber is becoming, quite literally, a powerhouse in the British economy and is a vital part of the Government’s long term economic plan to help secure a better future by spreading businesses, jobs and skills across the country.

“Today’s cash injection will help ensure that the Able marine energy park site will become a strong, competitive part of this growing renewable energy hub, attracting new businesses and creating jobs for hardworking local people.”

Note to editors:

AMEP, designed following extensive liaison with the offshore wind industry, will offer 1,289m of new heavy duty deep water quays and 366.7 hectares (906 acres) of developable land. It is designed specifically for the marine renewables sector providing a multi-user facility for the manufacture, storage, assembly and deployment of next generation offshore wind turbines and their associated supply chains.

A Development Consent Order for AMEP was granted by the Secretary of State for Transport in December last year. It is currently under consideration by a joint committee of the House of Lords and House of Commons following petitions lodged by Associated British Ports.

Planning permission for the initial enabling works has been granted by North Lincolnshire Council – the local planning authority.

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