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Cash boost for Essex wind farm scheme
A CONSORTIUM of north Essex firms, including Colchester Institute, has won a share of a £250million Government fund to train people for jobs in the wind farm industry.
Energising Harwich – a Passport to Work, was one of 34 bids to be awarded funding by business secretary Vince Cable, alongside big brands like Siemens and Honda.
AJ Woods, an engineering firm in Parkeston, put the proposal together with Colchester Institute and a consortium of local firms.
It will train people to work on the construction of the East Anglia One Wind Farm, 325 wind turbines in the North Sea, scheduled to start in 2015.
Tony Woods, managing director, said: “I am Harwich born and bred and it means a lot to me that my company is able to help people here get the opportunity to take part in meaningful training to help them gain jobs in the industry.”
The UK Commission for Employment and Skills set aside £250million, which will be distributed over the next two years. The local consortium does not yet know how much it will be given, but has been told the sum will be “substantial”. Danny Clough, who is principal of the Colchester Institute, said: “With 269 bids for this pilot funding, we are very pleased our bid caught the commission’s imagination. We are hopeful this will be the catalyst for other local initiatives to stimulate economic regeneration.”
The consortium of employers and supporters include Harwich and Dovercourt High School, Tendring Council , Essex County Council , Precision Navigation, in Manningtree, CCL UK, in Colchester, F T Marine, in Lawford, Pontoon Hire, in Wrabness, Sailspar, in Great Bromley and also Dunninghams, in Dovercourt.
Launching the strategy, business secretary Vince Cable said: “I am delighted these employers have taken this challenge.”