Port chiefs to push Hartlepool’s cause

Delegates at Renewable UK's conference at Hartlepool College of Further Education
Delegates at Renewable UK's conference at Hartlepool College of Further Education

THE bid to attract wind energy developers to Hartlepool takes another twist next month.

Bosses from PD Ports – the owners of Hartlepool’s dockland – will be at the annual conference of Renewable UK which is the trade and professional body for the UK wind and marine renewables industries.

They will be bidding to persuade firms that Hartlepool is the place to invest their millions.

The event runs from Tuesday, October 25, to Thursday, October 27, at the Central Convention Complex in Manchester.

PD Ports development director Paul Barker said: “We will be there, pushing Hartlepool as hard as we can.”

He said the port company, which owns dockland in Hartlepool, was trying to tick all the right boxes for potential investors in Hartlepool.

Mr Barker said the latest of those boxes was ticked recently when Renewable UK hosted its first ever North-East conference at the new £53m Hartlepool College of Further Education and attracted more than 200 top business bosses.

They came to town to see how Hartlepool was putting together packages to train the wind energy workers of the future.

Mr Barker said: “It went really well. Renewable UK were impressed. They spend a lot of time in London and the south east and this has shown them there is a lot to shout about here.

“All these wind energy people are working around a wishlist. We have ticked the boxes for the skills, the training and Hartlepool as a place.

“It is all about keeping Hartlepool in the spotlight.”

One of the delegates was Hartlepool Mayor Stuart Drummond who said: “For a lot of the people there, it was their first time in Hartlepool and they were really impressed.

“This sort of thing is going to help put Hartlepool on the map and help us to clinch business further down the line.”

Mr Drummond said talks to attract big industry to Hartlepool was going well, but it was going to take time before Hartlepool got the multi-million pound contracts to build the parts needed for the planned offshore wind farms.

“It is like a game of fishing. We are throwing out the bait and seeing if we get any bites.

“We have heard a lot of noises over the last few months from companies interested in what Hartlepool has got and I know the port is working to attract more and more business.

“But it is not a quick game. There is a lot of money at stake here and a lot of jobs. Companies don’t take these decisions lightly.”