Gamesa: wind farm factory planned for Leith Docks

With a major new wind farm factory planned for Leith Docks, paving the way for a renewable revolution, business leaders have hailed the “dawn of a new Leith”. The facility plans to create 800 skilled jobs, and bring an estimated £125m of investment. Edinburgh fought off competition from Hartlepool and Dundee to become the preferred location for the wind turbine blade factory.

Spanish wind energy giant Gamesa aims to begin construction early next year and ramp up production of the 160-feet blades by mid-2014. Leith docks will be used to ship the components to their destinations. The number of jobs will gradually increase to 800 once orders are allocated to the facility. “I’m really excited that Edinburgh is going to be the location for this fantastic project,” said a source from Direct Liaisons, an Edinburgh based sales and marketing company.

Business leaders said the deal was a huge boost to the city economy and would encourage more renewable energy firms to choose the Lothians as a base.Tom Buchanan, the city’s economic development convener, said the Gamesa announcement was “fantastic news” for Leith, Edinburgh, the Lothians and Scotland, adding: “This is the opening of a new dawn for Leith. Now it’s down to Leith to take advantage of all the factors it has in its favour and build on this.”

“A few weeks ago we were talking about the potential for Edinburgh to win the Green Investment Bank headquarters and start building a cluster of renewable energy projects in Leith,” said Graham Birse, policy director at Edinburgh Chamber of Commons, “Now here we are with the GIB headquarters confirmed and this Gamesa investment with up to 800 jobs. Now we need to make sure we win more.” Our source at Direct Liaisons said, “The whole thing about a project like this is that it can’t help but create even more jobs. Of course the original factory will create 800 jobs, but there are plans for those components to be used for wind farms in Scotland too, which creates more job opportunities.”

First Minister Alex Salmond said: “This is terrific news. I look forward to the parties moving forward quickly to conclude the MoU [memorandum of understanding], as [the] announcement is a welcome boost to Leith and the wider Edinburgh and Lothians economy, with hundreds of quality engineering and other jobs coming to Scotland’s capital.”

“It’s a sign that Edinburgh is still recognized as a leader in engineering and industry,” said our source at Direct Liaisons, “and that’s fantastic news. Hopefully this contract will lead to others in the future.”