Mandelson flies flag for the town

Lord Mandelson with Michael Bretherick

Lord Mandelson with Michael Bretherick

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FORMER European Commissioner Peter Mandelson has urged a Spanish wind turbine firm to set up shop in Hartlepool.

During a visit to the town’s new £53m Hartlepool College of Further Education, the former town MP told the Mail that Hartlepool is the place to be.

The Mail recently reported how Spanish firm Gamesa is weighing up whether to build an 800-job factory in either Hartlepool or Dundee with a decision due by the end of the month.

When asked by the Mail about the potential Gamesa investment, Lord Mandelson said: “My message would be that ‘We want you, we need you – you should come to Hartlepool’.

“I have nothing against Dundee but Hartlepool is better – it is the place to be.”

He said that the state-of-the-art new college could play a massive role in making Gamesa’s hoped-for move to the town a successful venture.

He added: “The college represents and encapsulates social change and would play an important role in making this company’s investment a success.”

His sentiments were echoed by Hartlepool Mayor Stuart Drummond and town Labour MP Iain Wright, who were among the invited guests at yesterday’s college ceremony.

Mayor Drummond said: “The very clear message is that Hartlepool is open for business and we would urge them to come and join us. That is what we are saying to Gamesa and other companies in similar fields.”

Mr Wright said: “We have got the skills and we have got the ambition.

“We could do a good job in providing the best products for the firm. This is the best place for them to invest in.

“There is already huge interest from local businesses that could be involved in the supply chain.”

PD Ports development director Paul Barker told the Mail: “Hartlepool is a very serious and very credible option. It is one of the only sites in the UK that is actually ‘good to go’.

“We firmly believe that Hartlepool is a strong contender for anything across the supply chain.”