Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng MP hailed Teesside for “powering forward the UK’s Green Industrial Revolution” as he visited one of the region’s key sites.
Wilton Universal Group welcomed the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to its North-East base, which recently more than doubled in size.
Mr Kwarteng toured the 112-acre facility, which is within the Teesside freeport zone on the banks of the River Tees, to see the extensive facilities Wilton provides for the offshore wind, nuclear and defence industries.
His trip included visiting a 58-acre site adjacent to Wilton’s established Port Clarence Offshore Base, along with the Haverton Hill site, which it recently acquired from EEW Special Pipe Constructions GmbH.
The additional site includes large workshops, a blast and paint facility, three slipways and a wet dock that will be utilised for Wilton’s projects in the offshore wind, tidal, hydrogen and other green energy sectors.
It will also enable Wilton to increase its capacity for its growing pipeline of contracts from the defence industry, as well as creating a logistics and storage hub for other companies that would benefit from being located in the freeport zone.
During his visit, the Secretary of State met members of Wilton’s experienced workforce who produce large and complex steel fabrications, including a number of apprentices the company recruited after they were made redundant by their previous employers during the pandemic.
Bill Scott OBE, CEO of Wilton Universal Group, said: “This was a great opportunity to show the Secretary of State first-hand not only the size and scale of our growing facility, but also the capabilities and opportunities that exist within Wilton and the wider North-East England supply chain that can contribute to the UK economy and its low carbon ambitions.
“He was impressed by the tenacity and ambition we are showing to strengthen our position in our key markets, particularly the offshore wind sector where we have an enviable track record for supporting large scale projects and are well positioned to play a part in future developments.”
Mr Kwarteng said: “Teesside was key to driving the Industrial Revolution 200 years ago, so it is fitting that this region is now powering forward the UK’s Green Industrial Revolution.
“Wilton Engineering is not only growing a strong UK manufacturing base in offshore wind, hydrogen and tidal power, but is also helping to revitalise this key industrial heartland through major private investment. They are creating new jobs and giving local young people the skills they need to work in green jobs.
“I have been impressed to see how Wilton Engineering is seizing the huge opportunities for growth as our bold commitments to tackle climate change are helping us to build back greener from the pandemic.”