One of the things that I and the other Liberal Democrat candidates stood for in May’s general election was for more green energy production to take place across the nation’s shipyards. Especially as these employers have the skills and resources to help create a green and sustainable economy.
Therefore it is with great joy that yesterday there was an announcement that a £20 million contract to produce two offshore windfarm substation platforms had been awarded to Harland and Wolff. The deal will secure the jobs in the manufacturing plant and possibly lead to 30 to 40 more. It also gives one of Belfast’s most famous and certainly most iconic employers a foothold in the lucrative £100 billion offshore wind industry.
Alliance MP for East Belfast Naomi Long said:
“This is brilliant news for the company and for East Belfast . This announcement shows that where we get involved in sustainability, there are real opportunities to grow our innovation base and manufacturing base.
“In the longer-term this type of green economy work has the potential to create many job opportunities. Today’s announcement indicates the skill and high quality of work at Harland Wolff.”
Her Alliance colleague at Stormont Chris Lyttle MLA added:
“This is a very significant boost for Harland and Wolff and is a very welcome boost to the local economy. This announcement shows the potential Northern Ireland has in relation to the green economy. We need to see government creating a Green New Deal strategy to try and realise our potential in this sector.
“It is extremely positive that given the current economic climate we have this type of news for Northern Ireland .”
The Liberal Democrats in Northern Ireland would certainly echo Chris’s desire that we harness the potential that Harland and Wolff and other business can provide to the green economy. It is a boost to our economy and through the outcome an investment in a better, greener future for all.