Hartlepool is ideally located to serve the Dogger Bank area of the North Sea, which is a substantial site stretching 260km in length and only 100km off the North East coast.
PD Ports’ Hartlepool facility has excellent potential to link in to the Government’s future offshore wind energy agenda and is especially well placed to capitalise on the associated new engineering jobs and economic benefits over the next 5 to 10 years.
JDR Cables Ltd, one of the leading players in the provision of subsea power cables, established a state of the art 100,000 sq ft facility on PD Ports land at Hartlepool in July 2009. PD Ports is already in negotiations with JDR Cables to extend this facility to cope with demand. PD Ports is also the UK home to Heerema, which has successfully serviced offshore related industries from Hartlepool for over 15 years.
Offshore wind power projects demand vast areas of land for assembly and manufacture of turbines due to the sheer scale of the structures involved. As a result Victoria Harbour, an area of land owned by PD Ports that links the Headland and the marina in Hartlepool, provides a prime opportunity to support the delivery of such new port related industries and act as a home for expanding engineering companies.
Victoria Harbour, which was previously considered as a potential mixed use site with a significant residential housing element, will enable PD Ports to further expand to meet growing demand and secure new job opportunities.
Michael McConnell, PD Ports’ Group Property Director, said: “PD Ports sees significant opportunities for further developing Hartlepool as a major player in the offshore support sector, which could bring sustained economic growth and jobs to the town.
“Our site at Hartlepool has enormous potential and there will be a number of exciting opportunities going forward. We will continue to look at all development opportunities for our brownfield site in the longer term, which may yet include some housing and commercial developments.”
Richard Buckley, Director of Development at Tees Valley Regeneration, said: “After lengthy discussions between partners and PD Ports, it was clear that the future focus for Victoria Harbour should be one of economic development and job creation."
Stuart Drummond, Mayor of Hartlepool, said: “Although it is disappointing that we cannot proceed with the original development plans for Victoria Harbour, we have recognised the changing economic circumstances in which the port is operating.
"We are keen to work with PD Ports and other agencies to maximise the economic opportunities for local residents and businesses from the port’s continued development. These announcements are timely in that they can be reflected in the Council’s long term planning for the future shape of Hartlepool, with our preferred plans shortly due to go out to public consultation.”
Pat Ritchie, Regional Director of the Homes and Communities Agency, said: “The focus on jobs and new industries at Victoria Harbour can play a significant role in the regeneration of Hartlepool. We will continue to work closely with Hartlepool Borough Council to drive forward the town’s renewal and develop quality affordable homes.”
The region is already in a prime position to take advantage of the offshore wind sector, with the New and Renewable Energy Centre (Narec) already working with global turbine, blade and electrical infrastructure manufacturers on their development programmes.
David Cramond, One North East Director of Capital Development, said: “In the current climate it is vital that we focus on projects that have economic development at their heart.
“Hartlepool is already benefiting from new investment from offshore wind, which is one of the new industries One North East has identified as having the potential for significant regional job creation.”
The UK Government is committed to raise the proportion of energy derived from renewable sources from 2.4 per cent to 15 per cent by 2020. To achieve this aim over 6000 turbines will be built and installed in nine different offshore fields around the coast of Britain. The largest of these nine fields will be at Dogger Bank.