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Renewable energy jobs boost for UK

Wind turbine giant Vestas is planning to build a new factory in the UK, the company has said.

The Danish-owned firm is applying for planning permission for a new plant at Sheerness in Kent to build turbines for the offshore wind industry.

The announcement is a boost for the UK’s renewable energy sector and follows Vestas’ controversial decision to close a factory on the Isle of Wight with the loss of hundreds of jobs.

Greenpeace said today’s announcement was “excellent news”, showing there were huge opportunities in the UK for renewable energy.

A Vestas spokesman said: “Vestas is prepared to make the necessary significant investment in turning the option into a full lease and building the planned new production facilities, thereby creating more than 2,000 direct and indirect new jobs provided the V164-7.0 MW order pipeline materialises as expected.

“With this option agreement in place, Vestas has shown our willingness and commitment to making major investments benefiting the UK, but Vestas alone cannot make it happen.”

Swale Borough Council leader Andrew Bowles said: “We are delighted at the prospect of what this announcement means for Swale, and for Sheerness specifically.

“We have been working with the South East England Development Agency (Seeda), Peel Ports and Kent County Council for almost a year and a half to arrive at this point and clearly are very pleased that such a major, industry-leading company has formally announced its firm interest in locating in the borough.

“While due planning processes have to be adhered to, a manufacturing base of such a scale could see the creation of thousands of jobs in the borough.

“Although there is a long way to go, such an announcement is extremely positive news for everyone on the island, and in Swale as a whole.”