Solent Ocean Energy Centre: £21.4m Bid Fails

Bid for funding to create Solent Ocean Energy Centre and Solent Apprenticeship Training Agency rejected by the Government

Devastating news for those behind the Solent Ocean Energy Centre (SOEC) today, as their bid for over £21m investment from the Regional Growth Fund (RGF) was rejected.

The Solent LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership) – the body which replaced SEEDA) – was behind the bid, which included four other schemes on the South Coast.

Solent Futures
The development of Solent Futures focused on supporting “sustainable economic growth through labour market engagement, green technologies and innovation and growth to enable higher levels of employment.”

The two schemes under this umbrella included the Solent Apprenticeship Training Agency (SATA), an employer-led apprenticeship training agency with a focus on small to medium sized businesses, and the Solent Ocean Energy Centre (SOEC), a project aimed at enhancing the UK’s marine current energy capabilities.

Massive blow for future job growth
The SATA was looking for an investment of £400,000 from the Regional Growth Fund, with the aspiration of creating 600 apprenticeship opportunities and 542 direct new jobs into sustainable employment.

According to the £21.4m bid for the SOEC, as well as developing an onshore technology centre for research, development and the manufacture of tidal turbines, it also had the potential to create 4,800 direct and indirect jobs on the Island.

Solent Gateway
The Solent LEP bid also included over £26m for three projects under the Solent Gateway umbrella. As with Solent Futures, this bid which included enhancements to Junction 5 of the M27; the Platform Road Improvement Scheme and development of a new link road from the A3M, was also rejected.

What’s the Regional Growth Fund?
The Regional Growth Fund (RGF) is a discretionary £1.4bn Government fund that will operate for three years between 2011 and 2014 to stimulate enterprise.

Some readers may remember that the Isle of Wight council agreed in February to increase their budget allocation to the Solent LEP by £100,000 to support the bid.

We’ve contacted David Pugh for a comment.

This is only the first of a minimum of two bidding rounds, so it may be possible that the schemes are approved at a later date.

Solent LEP Overarching Rationale for Regional Growth Fund Bid Submission

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3 Comments on "Solent Ocean Energy Centre: £21.4m Bid Fails"

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So the bid is rejected. that’s it is it. By who exactly? Which department? Which Minister the responsible? Having deciphered some details of the PUSH Initiative which incidentally is displayed better at: ( It would seem to be a most comprehensive plan for the coherent development of the Solent area having regard to the changing circumstances in which we find ourselves particularly regarding proper employment and training… Read more »

Whilst anyone is looking at the PUSH link, they might also wish to view the minutes of the the joint committee from the 9 November 2010.

That was the day when IWC applied to join PUSH, two months (less considering the Christams break)before this failed bid was submitted. How much of a contribution from IWC went into this bid?

adrian nicholas
so instead of a real eco-island fure and the outstanding technical wave turbine achievements made by underesourced yet brilliant and IOW linked companies that offer genuine economic groth and employment opportunity for the IOW- we have, by this sad short sighted decision, a de facto consequential preferrement for dubious and unsustainable bio-mass plants linked to narrow oil and energy/city cartels and profit instead? Who would have stood… Read more »