GROW receives £ 1 million extension

Tuesday, 31 March, 2015 - 10:15

The hugely successful GROW:OffshoreWind programme has been granted a six-month extension as part of the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy to help more manufacturers take advantage of investment in supply chain infrastructure.

Over £1m of funding has been put aside to assist more firms to overcome barriers to entry by giving them access to specialist support on developing sales strategy, processes and exploring new technologies. Companies looking to break into or increase market share in offshore wind will be assigned a specialist advisor and can then tap into grants of up to £10,000 to help with improvement projects.

“There have been a significant number of investments in the marketplace and this has set the foundations for suppliers in the lower tiers to take advantage of new opportunities,” explained Dominic Brown, Head of GROW:OffshoreWind. “Our role has been to work closely with industry leaders and manufacturers to develop a supply chain that is able to deliver a whole host of services and components to the world class standards expected by the big offshore wind contractors and tier 1.”

He continued: “We’ve already allocated £7m of funding to support firms with capital investment, unlocking R&D and, in some cases, helping companies to relocate. This has led to million pounds of contracts being secured and thousands of jobs being safeguarded and created. The extension and additional money highlights the need to build on this platform and ensure manufacturers are continuing to be supported as more wind farms are announced.”

GROW:OffshoreWind is delivered by Grant Thornton and programme partners the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS), RenewableUK and the University of Sheffield. Working closely with Government and industry leaders, the service has been instrumental in raising the profile of offshore wind and how suppliers can tap into £bn of opportunities slowly coming to fruition in and around the UK’s coasts. Eight dedicated GROW specialists have been working with companies on the ground, whilst senior officials have been cultivating relationships with tier 1 and the big contractors responsible for delivering the wind farms.

RenewableUK’s Maria McCaffery welcomed the Government announcement: “We are proud to be a key partner of this vital programme. The offshore wind sector represents a huge opportunity for manufacturers and service providers alike and GROW has already delivered on its promise to create high quality jobs. We will continue to provide insight and intelligence for this unique initiative.”

Katharina Garus

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