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Big day for Humber's renewable energy sector

After years in the planning, and even last minute legal wrangling, the diggers today moved in to start the preparation work for the £450 million Able Marine Energy Park in North Lincolnshire.

Meanwhile in Grimsby, the energy giant E.on opened its offshore wind operations and maintenance base. Both projects are set to create thousands of jobs and transform the local economy. Sarah Clark reports.

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Thousands of jobs in the pipeline as wind farm project progresses

The Communities Secretary today opened part of the Humber Offshore Wind Farm.

The development has been billed as a major milestone.

"We've hit significant milestones in the successful development of the Humber Gateway Wind Farm and hope to continue this trend until its proposed completion in 2015. So far, this has proved to be an important project for the area, creating a number of job opportunities and business for locally based companies during the construction process.

"The wind farm will be one of the UK's largest offshore sites, generating enough clean, green electricity to power up to 170,000 homes in the area, further highlighting the UK's continued investment in renewable energy sources."

– Matt Swanwick, Project Manager at E.ON

The site's £3 million onshore facility has also been completed in Grimsby Fish Dock, which will accommodate the Operations and Maintenance Team with offices, stores, a workshop and wind farm control room. The building has its own solar array, roof top wind turbines and charging points for electric vehicles - helping to boost the project's green credentials.

Two vessels, the Spirit of Hoton and Spirit of Sunthorp, have recently been delivered to the site and will shortly be deployed for operations.

The third vessel, the Spirit of Turmarr, will be delivered in March.

Each vessel has been named after old villages lost through coastal erosion along the Holderness Coast.

Milestone for Humber offshore Windfarm

There are major developments in the bid to make the Humber region the hub of the UK's renewable energy industry.

The Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles, today officially opened the Operations and Maintenance facility for the Humber Offshore Windfarm.

Eric Pickles listens to Cllr Chris Shaw, Leader of North East Lincolnshire Council
Eric Pickles listens to Cllr Chris Shaw, Leader of North East Lincolnshire Council

It comes after the £700 million Humber Gateway offshore wind farm reached a key milestone in its construction programme, including the successful completion of the first phase foundations.

24 foundations consisting of a tubular steel "monopile" have been driven into the seabed, creating the foundation bases for the turbines. The next major phase of work is set to commence in April, consisting of the installation of a further forty nine foundations.

Due to the scale of the development and upcoming work, E.ON will soon be recruiting an additional 13 people to join the Operations team.

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Tractors to provide TDF Wifi hotspots

Hi-tech tractor Credit: c

Two tractors have been given a hi-tech makeover so they can create a free wifi hotspot during the Yorkshire stage of the Tour De France. With a range of 500 metres in all directions, they will be situated in four of the busiest spots on the route, moving from Stage 1 to Stage 2 overnight.

During the first stage, one tractor will be located at the Yorkshire Dales National Park Visitor Centre in Hawes, where 5,000 people are expected to converge. The other will be at the Visitor Centre in Grassington, where National Park staff are expecting to welcome around 3,000 people.

For stage two, one tractor will head to the Steel Stage event at High Bradfield near Sheffield and the other will provide wifi access for spectators gathering in Holme village at the foot of the Holme Moss climb.

It's all thanks to a collaboration between the NFU, Massey Ferguson and satellite broadband company Avonline.

Leeds among worst in UK for mobile phone thefts

Leeds is one of the top three UK areas where mobile phone owners are most likely to have their device stolen, according to a new report by an insurance company.

Leeds second worst for mobile phone thefts
Leeds second worst for mobile phone thefts Credit: Press Association

Protect Your Bubble, which specialises in insuring modern technology, found that in London 18% of insurance claims are for theft of a mobile phone, the highest in the UK. Leeds was second, on 16%.

Stephen Ebbett, director of Protect Your Bubble, said: "Gadget owners can never be too cautious. Everyday we cart around hundreds, or even thousands of pounds' worth of high-tech gear, such as smartphones, tablets, cameras and e-readers.

"People can reduce their risk of being targeted by keeping their mobiles out of sight in public. Carry them in a pocket or bag with a zip, rather than your trouser pocket, or in your hand."

The survey covered the 30 largest towns and cities in the UK.

According to the data gathered by Protect your Bubble, users in their early 20s were the most likely to be victims of theft.

According to the National Mobile Phone Crime Unit, there are more than 250,000 reported cases of stolen mobile phones each year, with the unit encouraging users to install tracking apps to help trace a device after it has been stolen.

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