Labour leader praises Arch on visit to Northumberland

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn was full of praise for the major development plans to boost Northumberland during his visit last Thursday.

Thursday, 6th April 2017, 07:25 am
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 18:06 pm
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn with MP Ronnie Campbell during his visit to Blyth. Picture by Jane Coltman

Accompanied by representatives from Arch and Ronnie Campbell, MP for Blyth Valley, he was taken to see the area designated as the East Sleekburn Enterprise Zone and the Blyth Workspace facility.

The enterprise zone site, which is within the wider Energy Central area, comprises the former Blyth A and B Power Station and the former Ash Barge Dock that are currently derelict.

The Government’s expected announcements for future windfarms, the EDF Blyth Offshore demonstrator project and the North Sea Link Interconnector Project have all put the spotlight firmly on the Blyth Estuary.

Mr Corbyn said: “I think it’s very exciting that a former power station site will become an integral part of a major wind energy scheme.

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“The focus here is on creating localised energy production using sustainable sources, which is happening successfully in other parts of the country.

“This follows the German model that relies much less on big companies and we are currently working on a proposal to develop local energy co-operatives.”

Mr Corbyn also spoke to businesses, saying: “I’m pleased with how Arch is giving businesses the support they need to thrive, particularly with state-of-the-art incubation centres such as Blyth Workspace.

“The creation of Arch has helped to develop Northumberland’s economy and create much-needed jobs.”

Of the upcoming Northumberland elections in May, he said: “I hope people support Labour’s candidates and leadership as a result of what it has achieved over the last four years in terms of delivering good-quality housing, developing areas that had been left behind and providing opportunities for young people.”

Mr Corbyn also visited Blyth last year for a fund-raiser to support Mr Campbell after he was diagnosed with stomach cancer.

Mr Campbell said: “It was nice to show Jeremy these key sites to tell him about the plans to improve the area. I think he likes Blyth and he was very interested in Arch and how it works. It’s a great boost that the leader of our party has praised the work we are doing in Northumberland.”