Plans for 170-job cable factory put to local community in Northumberland

Proposals for a subsea cable factory that could create 170 new jobs in Northumberland have been presented to the local community.

JDR Cables, which already has sites in the North East at Newcastle and Hartlepool, wants to build the new manufacturing facility at Cambois, near Blyth.

The company has presented detailed proposals for the scheme at a consultation meeting held at the village’s primary school, asking for the thoughts of local people on the building plus associated infrastructure, car parking and landscaping.

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The plans are part of the Energy Central development on the site of the former Blyth Power Station, which also include the Britishvolt electric battery gigafactory.

It is hoped that construction of the JDR factory – which is part funded with a grant from the Government’s Offshore Wind Manufacturing Invest Support scheme – could begin next year, with the site opening in 2024.

James Young, chief strategy and compliance officer at JDR Cable Systems, said: “We are strongly committed to working with local people and ensuring that their views are considered before a planning application is submitted to Northumberland County Council.

“The development of a new JDR site in Cambois can play a major role in the UK’s transition to a low carbon economy and if the proposals go ahead, will represent a big win for Cambois and the Energy Central cluster.”

It is hoped the factory will be built on Energy Central, a 200-hectare site with access to low carbon power and quays.

The area – a partnership between Advance Northumberland, Port of Blyth, Northumberland County Council and the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult – has been set up to help create jobs in construction, engineering, manufacturing, research and development, training and logistics.

Coun Jeff Watson, chair of Advance Northumberland, said: “Energy Central puts South East Northumberland at the heart of renewable energy in the UK and JDR’s planned investment – along with Britishvolt’s Gigafactory and other developments around the Blyth estuary – will help to boost supply chain opportunities and attract further investment from regional, national and international businesses.

“This will create more and better jobs in Northumberland and give our young people the opportunity to enter the offshore wind, renewable energy, subsea engineering and advanced manufacturing industries right here on their doorstep.”

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Graeme WhitfieldRegional business editor