Environmental grant

Wind turbine maker Vestas has won a £6m grant from the UK goverment to help it build a research-and-development facility on the Isle of Wight.

The Department for Energy and Climate Change is awarding Vestas more than £3m as part of the Environmental Transformation Fund (ETF) scheme. This amount is being matched by the South East England Development Agency.

Vestas is the first company to receive a grant from the ETF scheme. The company submitted its bid earlier this year for a research-and-development facility to focus on developing wind energy products for the global market.

The centre will safeguard 100 jobs and create a further 150 jobs on the island in the short term and may offer jobs to some workers from Vestas’s closing manufacturing plant.

Jim Brathwaite CBE, SEEDA chairman, said: ‘We are very conscious of the difficulties faced by the current manufacturing plant and have been working hard to identify job opportunities for those facing redundancy at Vestas and have had a good degree of success: some 100 jobs look secure so far with many more job opportunities still being identified, albeit a proportion are likely to be off the island.’