OWGP launches £4.2 million offshore wind support package

By: Tom Russell

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The Offshore Wind Growth Partnership (OWGP) has launched its latest and largest tranche of grant funding and tailored business support for UK offshore wind supply chain companies in a package totalling £4.2 million.

The package includes a £3.5 million Development Grant Funding Competition for transformative supply chain projects and a £700,000 Wind Expert Support Toolkit (WEST) programme for needs-focused expert business support.

In its largest funding call to date, the OWGP is releasing £3.5 million for Development Grants to be awarded to high-growth supply chain companies.  Development Grants of between £100,000 and £1 million are available for capital and operational expenditure on projects that will unlock significant growth potential in UK content, jobs and export opportunities. This latest call builds on the £2.5 million of grant funding already allocated to companies in the last 18 months.

Development Grants are available to UK companies and will be awarded on a competitive basis, with successful proposals demonstrating a long-term business plan and a clear ambition for growth in the sector.  Eligible applicants can request up to £1 million in a single grant application to cover up to 50% of the total project budget.

OWGP stated that to date, it has awarded funding to over 20 offshore wind supply chain projects, including the development of innovative robotic solutions for welding and component assembly, machine learning solutions to enhance wind farm accessibility and O&M decision making, and virtual reality simulation training for offshore wind workers.

Following the Wind Expert Support Toolkit pilot programme that supported 32 companies in 2020-21, OWGP is now accepting applications for the refreshed WEST Programme. The 2021 WEST programme will offer £700,000 of needs-focused support to over 60 new and existing offshore wind supply chain companies.  OWGP is working with an established framework of delivery partners to provide bespoke support such as targeted specialist advice, market intelligence and business planning to accelerate the growth of UK companies in the offshore wind sector.

The OWGP supports the delivery of the Offshore Wind Sector Deal and is funded by members of the Offshore Wind Industry Council (OWIC), with a budget of £100 million over ten years. Delivered by ORE Catapult, the programme supports the growth of UK businesses in the offshore wind sector.

Danielle Lane, Co-Chair of the Offshore Wind Industry Council and UK Country Manager for Vattenfall, said: “The offshore wind industry is investing millions of pounds in developing a world-class supply chain so that innovative companies around the country can win contracts for goods and services here and abroad. The UK Government has recently published new proposals on offshore wind supply chain plans for the next CfD auction, which are challenging for project developers. Key initiatives, such as today’s announcement by the Offshore Wind Growth Partnership, will help UK companies to join the growing number of UK firms entering our sector, maximising the economic benefits of offshore wind for this country”.

Over 750 companies have now registered an interest on the OWGP website, where further information on Grant Funding and Business Transformation programmes can be found.  For more information and to apply, visit the
OWGP website.

About the Author

4C Offshore | Tom Russell