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Spending review £60M ports cash remains unspent

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc) revealed this week that a £60M grant to improve port infrastructure to support offshore wind farm construction remains unspent, nearly 18 months after the money was pledged by chancellor George Osborne in his 2010 Comprehensive Spending Review.

Despite not yet allocating the money and suggesting it might now not happen in this parliament, Decc said it still hoped the funding will unlock major private investment to create at least one offshore wind manufacturing hub around a port in England. As well as potentially holding on to the cash until beyond 2015, it could also be spread across more than one port development.

“While we cannot comment on the status of potential applications to the offshore wind manufacturing scheme, we are in discussions with a number of companies interested in investing in the UK as their projects progress,” said a Decc spokesman.

There are number of potential offshore manufacturing hub developments in the pipeline, including an agreement signed between engineering and communications giant Siemens and port operator the Association of British Ports for plans to construct a turbine manufacturing plant in the port of Hull last year. A similar agreement has been struck between the Port of Sherness and turbine manufacturer Vestas.

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