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Marine and offshore sector showcase set to attract more international investment for the North East

13th June 2014

Categories: Latest News

The region’s booming oil and gas industry was the focus of an international audience today (Thursday 12 June), welcoming a delegation of inward investment specialists from global offshore hubs, including, Australia, Brazil, Canada, USA and Norway. 

The Oil and Gas Briefing tour - organised by NewcastleGateshead Initiative’s inward investment team and Tees Valley Unlimited on behalf of Invest North East England and UKTI (UK Trade & Investment) – helped to spread the message that our region is the place to be for international companies looking for a UK base. The visit was secured after bidding against other UK cities to host the group. 

Local engineering specialists supported the tour and played a key role in demonstrating the area’s key strengths in offshore and marine industries – particularly in oil and gas, which employs around 65,000 people in the region and is responsible for the build of more than 70% of the oil and gas platforms operating in the North Sea. 

Catherine Walker, Inward Investment Director at NewcastleGateshead Initiative, said: “The marine and offshore sector is a key focus of our regional inward investment activity.  It’s an area where there’s maximum market potential globally and where we have academic excellence with available talent. Our universities and colleges are world leaders in research and development, widely recognised as providers of the UK’s strongest graduates in marine and offshore disciplines. 

“We have an attractive offer for potential investors and bringing investment specialists to the region (who work with investment-ready businesses on a daily basis) to experience it for themselves is helping us to raise awareness internationally of the opportunities available for businesses to grow and prosper here.” 

Stewart Watkins, Investment Gateway Manager at Invest North East England, added: “The North East’s extensive involvement in the North Sea oil and gas industry has earned us a global reputation for innovation. The vast range of specialist oil and gas industry capabilities available here mean that we’re well placed to fulfil even the most demanding and challenging North Sea projects. 

“We’re delighted at the opportunity to showcase the region to international investment specialists and spread the message that the North East is ripe for investment.” 

Neil Kenley, Director of Business Investment at Tees Valley Unlimited, said: “With a rich industrial heritage, Tees Valley has a long track record of delivering large scale projects in oil and gas, fabrication and decommissioning. 

“Our port facilities, fantastic infrastructure and logistics and a ready skilled workforce the Tees Valley mean the area is well placed to offer companies looking to invest in the UK an ideal base.” 

The visit also included tours of GE Wellstream – a leading engineer and manufacturer of high-quality, flexible pipeline products for oil and gas transportation – and Shepherd Offshore, a leading provider of responsible regeneration and providers of bespoke manufacturing, R&D and training facilities for global offshore and marine organisations. 

Roy Kristiansen, Senior Market Adviser at UKTI said: “The event has been very interesting. I’m particularly impressed with the level of investment and dedication to improving the infrastructure across the industry. The companies here clearly have strong affinity with the area, demonstrating a real commitment to staying here and growing their businesses.”


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