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Budget scrimps on ports cash

Port developers said this week that the £60M allocated in the Budget to help ports develop facilities for off shore wind turbine manufacturers will not be enough to encourage sustainable ports.

The Department for Energy & Climate Change said developers looking to expand ports will have to compete for the cash.

Sites must have enough land, access to transport facilities and ports must secure a manufacturer willing to use their sites.

Royal Haskoning maritime business development director Richard Marks said the money − which could be awarded to a single site or split between many − is relatively small.

“In terms of ports infrastructure it doesn’t go very far,” he said. “£60M is only going to be a contribution.”

Where will the money go?

Marks said there was also a danger the money could be spent on manufacturers rather than the ports themselves.
“It’s not absolutely clear what constraints there will be on the £60M,” he said.

“The £60M is a good thing − it’s just what are they actually going to do with it?” asked Royal Haskoning director of UK environment Siân John.

Rounds 2 and 3 of off shore wind energy developments mean ports need to be developed accordingly, but it is unclear who will fund this, she said. “If the government wants to see UK ports taking up the opportunity there needs to be some impetus.”

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