On Friday, David Cameron promised UK Government backing of Siemens’ plans to build a factory in Hull, at Alexandra Dock.
Responding during Prime Minster’s questions to something asked of him by local Labour MP Diana Johnson, Cameron said, “I think it is vital for the future of our economy and the future of the area that she represents. I met Members of Parliament from Humberside to discuss the issue.”
However, perhaps more tellingly, he added, “I have myself spoken to the head of Siemens about the importance of this investment going ahead. We are continuing the extra money going into ports to help the development of this industry and we back it all the way…”
It’s strong rhetoric on an increasingly divided area of the wind energy market and while it’s music to the ears of Siemens, it’s also good news for the wider UK manufacturing and engineering sector.
For Government of course, this isn’t just about the benefits of wind. It’s about generating jobs and investment, it’s about kick starting future economic growth and it’s about safeguarding energy security in the future. All terribly positive stuff and an stance that can and should be applauded.
However, as the race offshore continues to heat up and as first round investors continue to count the cost of working in a fast moving and rapidly unfolding new area of the market, let’s not all man the boats. After all, with a series of major onshore initiatives about to come online, we still have a viable and proven area of the market to capitalise on and invest in. And it doesn’t involve getting any feet wet.
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