YORKSHIRE’S emerging offshore wind industry is moving into action as the first support vessel to be based in Scarborough takes up its berth.

The town’s harbour is now home to the 22-metre vessel Dalby Trent, owned by Dalby Offshore Renewables, which has won contracts to supply the Westernmost Rough offshore wind development in the North Sea about five miles off the coast, south of Scarborough.

The development, being undertaken by DONG Energy, is under construction, and will consist of 35, six megawatt turbines, providing enough electricity to power around 200,000 homes. Stuart McNiven, the vessel’s owner and managing director of Dalby Offshore Renewables, said: “It is fantastic to be able to run this vessel out of Scarborough.

“My family and I live in the Scarborough area and we are very pleased to be bringing some of this activity and employment to the town; the crew are also local.

“The vessel will be operating out of the port for the next few months providing support to the wind farm construction crews.

“Hopefully this is only the start of what potentially could be a significant growth in the number of offshore wind support vessels utilising the borough’s ports in the near future.”

Dalby Offshore Services Ltd owns, operates and charters 11 offshore support vessels, six of which are wind farm related. Its head office in Beverley employs about 12 people, with more than 65 employees based offshore.

Coun Mike Cockerill, Scarborough Borough Council’s cabinet member for harbours, said: “The offshore wind sector is set to boom over the coming 18 to 24 months and both Scarborough and Whitby ports have a very strong opportunity to secure some of the action. We hope Dalby Trent will be the first of many such vessels using our facilities and adding to the diversification of the ports’ current activities.”

Coun Derek Bastiman, cabinet member for Regeneration, saidd: “We have been working closely with the Government and the offshore industry over the past three years to ensure the borough wins its place at the table when offshore wind developments take place off the Yorkshire Coast.

“Dalby Offshore Renewables is the first such support company to utilise the port and we believe this will prove to be a test bed for a growth of activity over the coming months.

“The offshore wind industry is set to invest over £40 billion in the North Sea in the coming decade at Westernmost Rough, Hornsea and the Dogger Bank.

“We are ideally placed geographically to benefit from this activity and only need to secure a small proportion to make a significant difference to the viability and success of our ports and our economy.”