Giant ship on North East coast

The world's largest wind turbine installation vessel has moored on the Wear before heading to an offshore site near Blyth.

New site plans in North Blyth

How Green is biomass?

A multi-million pound renewable energy plant could be built in North Blyth. Is it green enough for the people of North Blyth?

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Nuisance caller, 65, put behind bars

A Northumberland woman who made abusive calls to emergency services has had her sentence doubled. Linda Butcher, 65, of Aldborough Street, Blyth, was handed an eight-week jail sentence suspended for 12 months in July last year for malicious communications and public order offences.

Butcher appeared before South East Northumberland magistrates again after breaching the conditions of the sentence and continuing to commit malicious communications and public order offences.

As well as the original eight-weeks sentence, which now must be spent behind bars, Butcher was handed an additional eight-weeks in custody taking her jail term total to 16-weeks.

"The emergency services who operate in the Blyth area were concerned that Linda Butcher's calls were diverting emergency services from where they were most needed and could have put lives at risk. "We are pleased that the court has taken the matter seriously in imposing a 16-week sentence and we hope this serves as a warning that this type of behaviour will not be tolerated and we will take action on anyone committing these sorts of offences."

– PC Dave Ostle, Blyth Neighbourhood Policing Team

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Government "disappointed" about end of power plant project

The government said it was "disappointed" that a planned biomass power station at the Port of Blyth in Northumberland is not going ahead. The company behind the plans, RES, announced this morning that it was ending the project.

Blyth biomass plant
The biomass power plant at the port of Blyth will not now go ahead Credit: RES

The Department for Energy and Climate Change released this statement:

“We are disappointed that RES have decided not to take this project forward, however this is a commercial decision.

"The UK is one of the world’s most attractive places to invest in renewable energy, ranking second in the world for biomass. Our electricity market reforms will deliver at least £40 billion of investment in renewables between now and 2020, providing enough power for 10 million homes.”

Government blamed for power plant failure

The biomass power station at Blyth would have provided renewable energy for 170,000 homes. The plan was approved by the government in July 2013. This is what the company behind the project, RES, said at the time:

"We are delighted by the Government's decision to grant permission for North Blyth Power Station, which we believe will play an important part in the strong and growing renewable energy industry in South East Northumberland. It is also a welcome confirmation of the Government's support for sustainable, low carbon energy projects which will make a significant contribution towards meeting the UK's legally binding 2020 renewable energy targets."


– RES Project Manager Chris Lawson

However, in the months since it appears that RES developed grave concerns about the government's commitment to supporting green energy projects.

This is what they said today:

“As the UK’s energy policy currently stands, we cannot make an investment case to take this project forward.This is a reminder to Government that, without a consistent approach to energy policy, investors and developers will be deterred from delivering the billions of pounds needed to ensure the nation’s energy infrastructure is able to keep the lights on and secure cost effective electricity for British homes and businesses.”

– RES Chief Operating Officer for the UK Gordon MacDougall

Work stops on Blyth power station 'undermining £300m project' plans

The company behind a planned biomass power station at the Port of Blyth in Northumberland, RES, has announced that it is ceasing work on the project.

They're blaming the government’s "inconsistent support for dedicated biomass energy over the last two years". They added that this has "critically undermined their plans to invest £300m in the project".

“Despite the support the project enjoys locally due to the significant benefits it would bring to the local and regional economy, the North Blyth Biomass Power Station currently faces insurmountable investment barriers due to uncertain Government energy policy._

“It’s bitterly disappointing for RES that we are unable to bring this exciting project forward, and deliver the significant boost it would have represented for the Blyth and Northumberland economy. However, the gradual erosion of support for dedicated biomass leaves us with no other option.”_

– Gordon MacDougall, RES’ Chief Operating Officer for the UK

“RES is grateful for the support we have received from stakeholders including the local community, Northumberland County Council, Environment Agency and project partners such as the Port of Blyth._

“This is a reminder to Government that, without _a consistent approach to energy policy, investors and developers will be deterred from delivering the billions of pounds needed to ensure the nation’s energy infrastructure is able to keep the lights on and secure cost effective electricity for British homes and businesses.” _

– Gordon MacDougall, RES’ Chief Operating Officer for the UK

Work stops on Blyth power station

RES, the company behind a planned biomass power station at the Port of Blyth in Northumberland, has announced that it is ceasing work on the project.

RES is blaming what it calls the government’s "inconsistent support for dedicated biomass energy over the last two years" as well as increased uncertainty over the UK’s energy policy.

They say this has critically undermined their plans to invest £300m in the project.

What the power station would have looked like Credit: RES

If it had gone ahead it would have created 300 construction jobs, plus 50 full-time jobs at the power station.

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Escaped prisoner thought to be in Blyth

Police are appealing for information about a man who has absconded from a prison in Derbyshire and who is believed to be in Northumberland.

43-year-old Steven Antwiss escaped custody last month and police now believe he is in the Blyth area of Northumberland.

Have you seen this man? Credit: Derbyshire Police

He had previously been serving a life sentence for armed robbery at HMP Sudbury.

Officers say that they do not believe there is any risk to the wider public.

Police are warning that anyone found to be assisting or harbouring the escaped prisoner will also face being arrested.

Anyone who knows Antwiss' whereabouts is being urged to contact Northumbria Police on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Information given to Crimestoppers that leads to arrest and conviction could result in a reward of up to £1,000.

Police appeal following armed robbery in Blyth

Police are appealing for witnesses following an armed robbery in Blyth.

It happened at Chisholm Bookmakers in Briardale Road at 8.55 pm on Thursday, January 23.

A man entered the premises and threatened a member of staff with a knife.

He stole a quantity of cash before leaving.

No-one was injured during the incident but the staff member was left shaken.

The offender is described as in his mid 20s, 5 feet 10 inches tall, of skinny to medium build, with a freckled complexion, ginger eyebrows and a local accent.

He was wearing a grey coat with a hood, gloves and dark tracksuit bottoms.

Police appeal after Blyth robbery

Police are appealing for information after a woman was robbed in Blyth.

It happened around 5pm on Thursday, January 2, in the rear lane of Stanley Street. A man approached the woman, in her 50s, threatened her and demanded she hand over property.

He snatched her handbag.

The woman was not injured in the incident but was left shaken. The offender is described as being a teenager, possibly around 14 years old, 5ft 5 inches tall, dressed all in black and wearing a black hooded top.Police are urging any witnesses to contact them.

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