The Port has announced a new £12million banking facility with Lloyds Bank that will enable the next phase in its rapid expansion.
Major investments will now be made in relation to terminal infrastructure and the construction of new warehousing, as well as strengthening quays and installing new cranes.
Having reported a second consecutive year of record financial figures in April last year including a 17 per cent increase in turnover, the Port is now viewed as one of the UK’s fastest growing Trust Ports, driven largely by the continued development of offshore energy related activities.
This expansion has necessitated a record level of investment from the Port, via the consolidation of a long-term relationship with Lloyds Bank, with spending set to support key developments to serve clients in the offshore energy, dry and liquid bulks sectors.
Chief Executive of the Port Martin Lawlor said: “The new arrangement with Lloyd’s allows us to move swiftly forward with a number of important investments that are crucial to the Port’s ambitious growth plans. With major works at both our South Harbour and Wimbourne Quay terminals on behalf of incoming clients from the offshore energy sector soon to be completed, we are now turning our attention to long term projects elsewhere in the port that will generate both jobs and inward investment.
We will shortly begin work to join our Bates and Wimbourne Quay terminals in order to offer clients a more flexible and future-proofed single terminal while work to develop both our dry bulk handling and offshore decommissioning offerings at our Battleship Wharf terminal will follow. The construction of additional warehousing and engineering workshop space will provide exciting opportunities for both existing and potential clients, particularly in reference to strong interest we’ve received in relation to the enterprise zone on the current Bates terminal site.
Such investment naturally points to exciting times ahead for the port and we look forward to those developments providing jobs and opportunities for both our clients and our stakeholders.”
Oran Robson, Finance Director at Port of Blyth, said: “The potential at the Port across numerous sectors is huge, but to make the most of those opportunities and to ensure we continue to diversify our offering to protect the business’ long-term security, it’s crucial we invest now.
“This series of developments will facilitate a large number of new jobs on Port land as we aim to double the number of those employed on site from 500 to over 1000 in five to ten years. These ventures will also act as a catalyst for growth in the local economy and will no doubt stimulate inward investment into the town.
“We anticipate that major projects such as the joining of our Bates and Wimbourne Quay terminals will attract significant interest from the industry and will enable us to exceed 50 per cent turnover growth targets during the investment period.”
Progress at the Port in recent years has seen the arrival of major clients including Royal IHC, Global Marine Group and DeepOcean, with a powerful cluster of offshore energy companies and a well-developed supply chain making the Port an increasing attractive proposition.
The Port’s on-going development in partnership with Arch of Energy Central, one of the UK’s largest quayside offshore energy development sites, alongside major projects such as EDF’s demonstrator wind farm and the North Sea Link interconnector with Norway have continued to highlight the Port’s progress.
Michael Hindhaugh, relationship director, Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “This investment represents a great step forward for the Port of Blyth.
“The new facilities will create jobs and investment straight away, and it will help to future proof the Port, making it a driver of prosperity for many more years to come.
“Lloyds Bank is committed to supporting investment that helps Britain prosper and we have dedicated teams on hand to offer bespoke funding solutions and expertise.”