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Siemens reaches first jobs milestone

Job centre staff in Hull say they are confident the city can shake off its image of having one of the worst unemployment rates in the country.

It comes as figures today revealed the Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire region as a whole has the second highest rate of people out of work in the UK. That's despite improving numbers which show there are fewer people out of work than this time three months ago.

Today, the first 14 of the one thousand jobs due to be created at Siemens were advertised as part of its multi million pound investment in Hull. But as Fiona Dwyer reports the people helping job seekers say they don't have to wait for work.

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Monckton cokeworks to close at the end of December

The UK's last independent coke works is to close this month - ending 130 years of production - after failing to weather competition from cheaper Chinese rivals.

Editorial image Credit: Press Association

The Monckton site near Barnsley in South Yorkshire has struggled to secure enough long-term contracts amid "unprecedented turmoil" in European coke markets.

Owner Hargreaves Services confirmed the closure plan today after announcing in October that it would consult the 130-strong workforce about plans to close the plant.

It said there had been no significant improvement in market conditions or customer demand since the initial announcement.

The company pledged to look for alternative employment opportunities for staff, both within the wider company and externally.

The plant, which supplies coke destined for use in glass, detergents and steel manufacturing, has been hit because Chinese coke suppliers are able to undercut international prices.

It had been expected to make a profit of £2 million in the current financial year to May but the company said the outlook beyond this year was "very poor" given current market prices.

Hargreaves employs 2,700 people in operations ranging from the importing of coal and coke to bulk haulage.

Last year it closed the Maltby coal mine, near Rotherham, although it still has nine surface mines, including seven in Scotland.

It said today that surface mining operations were performing well but warned that 2016 forward coal prices have fallen by a further £4 per tonne in the last three months. Shares fell by more than 13%.

Consortium welcomes Govenment wind farm go-ahead

The consortium SMart Wind has welcomed the decision by the Secretary of State to grant development consent for Hornsea Project One.

The project is scheduled to commence operation by 2020 when it will become the world’s first gigawatt scale far from shore wind farm.

The DCO covers the entire project, including the turbines, offshore and onshore substations, array cables and export cable.

Project One is located 120km off the Yorkshire coast and covers approximately 407 square kilometres, when completed, Project One will be able to meet the electricity needs of around 800,000 UK homes.

Hornsea Project One is being developed by SMartWind – a consortium of Mainstream Renewable Power and Siemens Financial Services – and DONG Energy. Hornsea Project One is one of three projects for which DONG Energy was awarded Financial Investment Decision Enabling Contracts for Difference by the Government in April 2014.

“SMart Wind are delighted with the grant of the DCO following a robust examination from the Planning Inspectorate.

"Hornsea Project One is part of the essential new infrastructure that has driven major investment in the Humber economy and ensures a low carbon future for the area.

"Today’s announcement is testament to the world-class expertise of the Mainstream team who have been developing this project for the past six years.

"This has been a landmark year for Mainstream’s offshore team as we were recently awarded consent for our 450MW offshore wind farm in Scotland.”

– Andy Kinsella, Mainstream Renewable Power’s Chief Operating Officer

“Development consent for Hornsea Project One is very welcome.

"This is an exciting project that will be a world first in terms of its size and location, and it has the potential to power up to 800,000 UK homes.

"Development consent has recently been granted for our Burbo Bank Extension and Walney Extension wind farms as well, underlining that DONG Energy has real commitment to investing in the UK with a strong pipeline of future projects.”

– Benj Sykes, DONG Energy Vice President of UK Wind Power,

Siemens acts as financing and technology partner in the joint venture.

The company recently announced its intention to invest in wind turbine production facilities in Hull that could also produce the Hornsea turbines.

The Hornsea Project One will support the UK in its endeavours to pursue its environmental objectives and to satisfy a quarter of its electricity needs from renewable energy sources by 2020. Siemens’ equity participation underpins its long-term commitment to the project and the region overall.

“We are delighted to see such positive decisions as the large scale Hornsea Project One coming through the planning process, which further support the UK’s position as a global leader in offshore wind and confirm its material contribution to UK power generation into the long term.”

– Huub den Rooijen, Head of Offshore Wind at The Crown Estate, manager of the UK seabed

Three offshore wind farms get Governement go-ahead

An offshore wind project that is expected to bring up to 2,500 local jobs and millions of pounds' worth of investment to Yorkshire and LIncolnshire, has today been given the go-ahead by the Government.

The Government has given the go-ahead to a massive offshore wind farm project off the Yorkshire coast Credit: Press Association

Hornsea Project One will be made up of three offshore wind farms based 64 miles off the East Yorkshire coast. Once built, it will generate enough electricity to power more than 800,000 homes.

It is one of the largest investments in the Humberside area in the last 50 years.

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Businesses benefit from le Tour success

Yorkshire businesses say they are seeing increased interest following this year's Tour de France stages in the county.

Figures revealed today showed the race brought more than £100 million into the economy.

John Gill from the Bradfield Brewery told ITV Calendar his business was booming after the success of the event:

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