ISLE of Wight Council has asked for Government backing as part of its push to create a world-class tidal marine energy testing centre in the Solent.
It has submitted a bid to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills for a £1m grant that it said will be matched by the council and a group of business leaders helping to drive forward the island’s green agenda.
The three-way partnership would create a £3m pot to be invested in the facility, called the Solent Ocean Energy Centre (SOEC). It would focus particularly on tidal energy and research.
Isle of Wight Council leader, Councillor David Pugh, said: “This will unlock future private sector jobs growth in the development and production of marine energy, helping the UK to build a world leading renewable energy sector. Whilst the initial funds will see the immediate creation of around 20 jobs, the commitment will pave the way for further and significant investment from the private sector which will create and safeguard over 600 jobs over the lifetime of the project.
“The rebalancing of the economy on the Isle of Wight is essential for its economic well-being and it will be the beneficiary of almost a third of the private sector jobs being realised in this project.”