RenewableUK (Posted 30.01.15)

Offshore wind regenerates British coastal communities.

RenewableUK is highlighting today’s announcement of more than £45 million of Government money for 63 seaside towns in England and Scotland, creating over 3,000 jobs and 1,500 apprenticeships, from a fund partially financed by the UK’s offshore wind industry.

The beneficiaries include Blackpool Illuminations which will receive £2 million to create new light shows, and the Tate St Ives gallery in Cornwall which will get a £3.8 million extension. Suffolk will receive nearly half a million pounds to boost tourism and leisure facilities, while Thanet in Kent will get a quarter of a million pounds to promote its heritage. A Scottish submarine museum will be built in Argyll and Bute.

The Coastal Communities Fund was set up in 2012 by the Treasury Secretary Danny Alexander. It is financed partly using revenue from The Crown Estate, which leases the seabed to offshore wind farm developers.

Today’s announcement brings the total provided by the Coastal Communities Fund to date to £116 million, funding 211 projects, creating 12,400 jobs and providing 6,000 training places and apprenticeships.

RenewableUK’s Director of Offshore Renewables Nick Medic said: “British offshore wind is helping to provide millions of pounds of much-needed funding every year to the UK’s seaside towns, as well as giving a boost to coastal communities which are already thriving.

“This is a tangible example of the offshore wind sector stimulating growth in the wider UK economy. It shows that as well as the direct benefits to Britain of the offshore wind industry, such as 13,000 jobs in the sector and £1.6 billion annual investment, the indirect benefits like community funding are becoming increasingly significant.

“The projects which will benefit from this latest round of funding will build on Britain’s rich and varied marine and coastal traditions. As an industry, we are delighted with the interest in the fund, and the fact that offshore wind is one of the ingredients in its success”.