Wick Telford buildings returning to maritime use
Two buildings in Lower Pulteneytown in Wick are set to be redeveloped into the Operations and Maintenance (O&M) base for Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Limited (BOWL) during 2017.
First developed by renowned Scottish engineer Thomas Telford in 1807, the buildings have a long held history of supporting marine work in Wick and will now be brought back to maritime use. Planning permission for the redevelopment has been granted by the Highland Council. Work is expected to begin in early 2017, and will see sympathetic restoration as part of BOWL’s £10m investment in Wick.
The O&M base will support the Beatrice project, bringing economic and community benefits to the area during both construction and operation. The base requires around 90 long term employees, offering opportunities for everything from Offshore Technicians to Office Administrators.
Steven Wilson, BOWL Project Manager, said: “For a project of this scale we wanted to ensure we bring benefits both to the communities that we work in and the Scottish and wider UK supply chain.
“We have been delighted by the support the Wick community has shown towards our plans for the Telford buildings. I know we are going to create a lasting legacy for the town in the redevelopment and the creation of jobs to help keep the Beatrice blades spinning and supplying the sustainable energy people need.”
It is estimated Beatrice will contribute over £1bn into the UK economy during construction and operation via employment and supply chain opportunities with companies such as BiFab and Babcock already securing significant contracts for their Scottish operations.
Local benefits of up to £224m are expected with an average gross employment in Scotland of over 890 jobs during the peak construction phase.
Communities local to Beatrice will see benefits in other ways too through the £6m Beatrice fund. The first round of the Partnership Fund was launched in December, making £600,000 available to support transformative community projects in both Highland and Moray in the first year. Coastal communities in the region are also able to benefit from an estimated £28m contribution to the UK Government’s Coastal Communities Fund managed by The Big Lottery.