The South West of England and the North of Scotland have signed a pact to work together to boost jobs in the growing marine power industry.
The Government last year granted both regions Marine Energy Park status, making the areas the sector’s two investment focal points in the UK.
Bosses of the South West Marine Energy Park and the Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters Marine Energy Park today signed a memorandum of understanding in London to support the development of the wave and tidal renewable power industry.
The South West park is spread across sites in Devon, Cornwall and Bristol. Forecasts suggest there could be 5,000 jobs in the sector in the region by 2017.
Energy Minister Greg Barker, who witnessed the signing, said: “From southern England to northern Scotland, I’m struck by the fact these two parks lie at opposite ends of Great Britain. This agreement symbolises the strength of the UK working together as one.”
Peter Kydd, chairman of the South West Marine Energy Park, said: “There are already very strong relationships between companies and research facilities in the two regions, it makes sense therefore that the UK’s first two marine energy parks should be working together to promote and accelerate the commercial development of marine energy technologies.”
Claire Gibson, general manager of Wave Hub off the coast of Cornwall, the world’s largest grid-connected wave energy test site, said: “This agreement sends a clear and positive message to the industry that the UK is serious about accelerating commercial development of the marine energy sector.”