Businesses looking to benefit from major north east wind farm investment

November 28, 2012 | Community News

More than 100 businesses have signed up to bid for a range of contracts worth millions of pounds which relate to four north east wind farm projects being progressed by Banks Renewables. 

Representatives of over 130 firms attended the first renewables industry ‘Meet The Buyer’ event that County Durham-based Banks has held in the north east to find out more about the opportunities being offered by them to locally-based suppliers. 

Banks has already secured planning approval for the Moor House and Lambs Hill wind farms, which will be located to the north east of Darlington and north west of Stockton respectively, and estimates it will invest around £32.6m in the development of the two schemes. 

It is also currently progressing two further planning applications in the region, for the Windy Bank scheme in Teesdale and the Bank Field project to the north of Guisborough. 

The company has a policy of using a local supply chain as far as is practicable on regional developments, and held the event in Sedgefield to help identify prospective suppliers for all aspects of the projects.

The available tenders cover a wide range of different disciplines, from construction-related work such as civil engineering, groundworks, materials supply, haulage, training, plant hire and logistics, through to less obvious aspects of the projects, including catering, fencing, accommodation and site security. 

Members of the Banks construction and procurement teams provided advice and guidance to event attendees on the range of contracts available and the detail of the company’s tendering process. 

Tony Henderson, director of Gateshead and Middlesbrough-based Koru Property Services, who attended the event, said: “Construction has obviously been quite hard hit over the last four years now and renewables is an area that we’re very keen to get into and grow this as a separate part of our business, not just in the north east, but right across the UK.

“I’m passionate about renewables, and about wind farms in particular, and winning contracts on Banks’ north east schemes will enable us to allocate a core team of experienced construction staff to the sector – we employ just under 40 people at the moment, and have the capacity to increase that figure to 50 or more if we can bring in the work.” 

Banks Renewables has completed three onshore wind farms, and is currently constructing a further two.  It has planning approval for three further schemes, and also has a range of other projects across the north of England and Scotland at different stages of the planning process. 

Phil Dyke, development director at Banks Renewables, added: “We’re very pleased with the outcome of our event, in terms of both the number of companies that came along and the wide range of skills and services that they offer. 

“There was a lot of support for the work we’re doing from the firms represented at the event, as well as recognition of what this level of investment could mean for creating and sustaining employment and economic growth in the region.

“Our renewable energy schemes bring a wide range of benefits to the communities in the areas where they are located, a significant part of which is the availability of contracts to local businesses that help both sustain and create employment, and as well as directly benefiting the companies that win these contracts, our approach also leads to further capital coming into the area through the local supply chain. 

“Knowing in detail about the breadth of expertise that’s on our doorstep will be extremely useful when the time comes to start construction work on each of our projects forward, and we’ll be liaising with the companies that we met as our plans move forward.

Any local companies who were unable to attend the event, but who would like to put forward their details for consideration can do so by emailing rachel.dowson@banksgroup.co.uk

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