A LEADING marine business will have invested more than £15 million in Isle of Wight manufacturing and jobs by the end of the year.
The investment by Seacat Services, an offshore wind farm vessel transfer operator, based in Cowes, has been achieved in less than two years and includes the manufacture of four specialised workboats with a further two vessels due for delivery before the end of 2013.
The firm employs six full-time staff based at its Island headquarters, with a further 22 staff undertaking shift work on its workboats operating in the North Sea.
All vessels have charters booked for 2013 and will be working on offshore wind farm projects either under construction or already generating electricity, off the UK, Danish and German coasts.
Managing director Ian Baylis said: "With four workboats already operational and in the water, it’s fantastic to see our investment in the Island is creating significant benefits both for the immediate locality and for the wider offshore wind energy space."
There are plans for two offshore wind farms off the south coast.
"If approved, both projects will offer a further boost to the Isle of Wight and its workforce — particularly since the community is well-placed, both geographically and in terms of its unique skill-set, to benefit."
This year, the firm will launch two new 24-metre vessels focused exclusively on the European offshore wind market.
Seacat Defender will be launched in the spring, with Seacat Volunteer due for launch later in the summer.