A CONTRACT to transform the historic Swan Hunter shipyard into a global hub for the green energy industry is up for grabs.
North Tyneside Council today announced it is offering a developer a stake worth up to £50m in its plans to bring more than 1,000 new jobs to the region with a world-class renewable energies centre.
It is expected that the opportunity to take control of the famous shipyard – which was bought by the council in 2009 – will attract attention from across the continent.
The announcement has already sparked interest from ex-Newcastle United chairman Freddy Shepherd who ploughed millions into regenerating the adjacent Neptune Yard in Walker.
Last night a spokesman for his company Shepherd Offshore confirmed they would be launching a bid to acquire the site and described it as an exciting opportunity.
The developer role could potentially involve the construction of buildings for marine and renewable energy industries along the banks of the River Tyne as well as overseeing the expansion of the council’s Learning Village which would train hundreds of apprentices.
The contract, worth between £30m and £50m, has been made available by the council through European and central government grants and private-sector investment.
North Tyneside’s elected mayor Linda Arkley said: “This is an exciting opportunity for a developer partner or consortium to be involved in shaping the future of this well-known former shipyard, creating thousands of jobs for local people.”
“To make that happen we need to ensure we have the infrastructure available for potential investors and that the site is well managed.
“This proposal will help us explore the opportunities with interested partners and to clarify which option would work best for the borough and the wider low-carbon enterprise zone.”