MARINE and offshore wind energy businesses on the Isle of Wight have been awarded a share of government funding but plans to create a tidal energy centre and tourism fund have missed out.
The Isle of Wight Marine Business Partnership has received the cash from the third round of the government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF), a £1.05 billion funding pot aimed at creating jobs and stimulating growth.
It will use the money — the amount of which is yet to be confirmed — to support businesses in the Cowes and Medina Valley areas, helping them expand and further develop the Island’s marine and offshore wind energy sectors.
It will also help them access grant funding.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: "This cash injection for the Isle of Wight Marine Business Partnership is part of a major government drive to create and protect thousands of jobs, that will last in the parts of the country where they’re needed most.
"For too long the UK economy has been focused on the City of London, ignoring places where business can thrive. The RGF taps into that potential, so places like the Isle of Wight can benefit."
Isle of Wight Council leader David Pugh said: "We welcome the prospect of government funding and look forward to helping the partnership establish what would be a world-class cluster of marine/renewables businesses building on the Island’s proud history of maritime industry."
Two other Island bids, to establish a tourism fund and create a Solent Ocean Energy Centre (SOEC) off St Catherine’s Point, were unsuccessful. However, the SOEC project has received £1.7 million of European money to finance preparatory works and establish a private sector-led consortium to support businesses across the south east looking to take advantage of opportunities in the offshore renewables sector.
The Solent Local Enterprise Partnership, of which the Island is part, has been awarded £15 million to support the region’s defence and manufacturing sectors, and to help new businesses in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.