Eyemouth’s efforts to reinvent itself as a support base for future offshore wind farms have been recognised in the Scottish Green Energy Awards.
The harbour’s offshore renewable marketing project has been shortlisted as a nominee in the ‘Community Initiative’ category in this year’s awards which will be announced at a ceremony at the National Museum of Scotland on December 5.
Work being done by the harbour trust and the Eyemouth Renewables Group has already created employment at the port.
It offers support services for vessels in transit or using Eyemouth as a base, has improved 24/7 quayside facilities and ensured that a dedicated access road can cope with the heavy loads through the port.
The group has also secured funding to employ a new staff member whose job it is to engage with the renewables industry
“The new post, soon to be advertised, would suit someone with an interest in renewables, reflecting our aspirations at Eyemouth Harbour Trust to work with the offshore wind industry, other renewables and grid projects in the south of Scotland,” said Christine Bell, harbour trust business manager.
“Our aspiration is to use this new job as a building block for further economic growth in our organisation, in our local community and within Scotland.”
Eyemouth Harbour Trust has worked with politicians, council officers, local businesses, Eyemouth Town Council;, Eyemouth Chamber of Trade, Eyemouth Development Trust, Scottish Enterprise, Forth/Tay Developers and Crown Estate.
“We are keen to help economic growth, making the economy more resilient,” added Christine. “Our marketing plan aims to draw attention to this area and highlight what the area can provide in terms of skills, services, facilities and personnel.
“We want to see the successful establishment of an offshore wind industry in Scotland with areas like ours helping to bring in diversification and innovation. This will contribute to a sustainable future for this area and the nation.
“Our marketing plan has explored the potential for jobs for this area and we see that the impact on jobs across Scotland from offshore wind is likely to be significant.
“It offers career prospects to our young people so is of great importance to Eyemouth.
“As well as helping to bolster jobs in our coastal communities, we see that offshore wind in Scotland has the potential to provide export opportunities which, from our ideal east coast position facing Northern Europe, we eye with interest.
“Our knowledge of these seas and maritime skills, combined with the developers’ quest to harness offshore energy gives a persuasive offering; nurturing offshore wind industry development in our coastal communities is a powerful message that we want to help communicate to the world.
“The local community has traditionally relied on the sea. This project provides a response to shifting maritime demand to the offshore renewables sector and explores opportunities in diversification to allow our micro-businesses and economy to flourish and grow.”
Borders MP Michael Moore, who chairs the Eyemouth Renewables Group meetings, is delighted that recognition is being given to the work being done.
“It is fantastic news that Eyemouth Harbour Trust has been nominated,” said Mr Moore.
“I regularly meet with the Eyemouth Renewables Group to discuss the ways in which the local Eyemouth community can benefit from the enormous economic potential of the harbour’s development.
“The green development of renewable energy at Eyemouth is very impressive and therefore, I am glad that the project has been recognised in this way.
“I wish Christine Bell and the rest of the team at the Eyemouth Harbour Trust lots of luck for the upcoming awards in Edinburgh.”