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Double boost for region's energy industry

The world largest offshore wind farm has opened off the coast of Essex and an energy skills centre is opening in Great Yarmouth Photo: ITV Anglia

On the day the Prime Minister is opening the world's biggest ever offshore wind farm off the Essex coast, there's been a boost for Great Yarmouth - a town with a long association with the energy industry.

An £11 million pound training centre is to be built there next year. It's hoped this will provide the required skills to keep this region at the forefront of the latest developments in energy production over the next half century.

"The ultimate goal is for local people to be trained locally for careers in a local industry", said Blair Ainslie, chairman of the local Skills for Energy Partnership.

"We expect it to become anational centre of excellence for energy industry skills."The news has been welcomed in nearby Lowestoft, which is also closely associated with the country's energy needs.

At Sembmarine SLP in the town, they're working on a six-storey accommodation platform for staff working in the oil and gas sector in the northern North Sea - a project designed and produced locally.

"We've got the skills here but when the current generation move on, it's nice to know we'll have those specialist skills to replace them. The prospect of having somewhere locally where they can develop those is really important," said Managing Director Paul Thomson.