The energy sector is crucial for East Suffolk and the next few years should see significant opportunities. These relate to supply chain opportunities in offshore wind energy (linked, for example, to the development of the East Anglia Offshore Wind (EAOW) array which – when completed – will be the largest wind farm in the world). Lowestoft already has an Enterprise Zone and provision for small businesses in this field, and it will be crucial that both continue to develop.
The Energy Skills Centre – to be built at East Coast College’s Lowestoft campus – will be a significant resource. The work of the East of England Energy Group (EEEGR) continues to be important, both in relation to skills and more generally. In addition, there are huge possibilities surrounding nuclear power, especially in relation to Sizewell C.
Various infrastructure schemes should support the sector’s growth. For example, Suffolk County Council recently consulted on two bypass route options for the A12 between Saxmundham and Wickham Market as part of the SEGway proposals (Suffolk’s Energy Gateway).
East Suffolk Council will support the energy sector by:
- Continuing to ensure appropriate land and premises provision in and near Lowestoft to enable the offshore energy sector – and its supply chain – to thrive.
- Supporting the case for investment in Sizewell C, ensuring that this is linked to clear economic development outcomes, and learning from the experience of other similar ventures (e.g. Hinkley Point) in respect of supply chains, inward investment opportunities and issues relating to employment and skills.
- Working with New Anglia LEP to promote and advance the East of England Energy Coast, recognising the role, contribution and potential of East Suffolk’s specialisms in renewables, nuclear and gas.
- Supporting the development of the Energy Skills Centre at East Coast College’s Lowestoft campus, to address skills issues in the sector.