Shipyard skyline will see new crane

Work starts on assembling the 100 base of a Dutch crane at WD Close and Sons, Wallsend Shipyard.

Work starts on assembling the 100 base of a Dutch crane at WD Close and Sons, Wallsend Shipyard.

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THE BANKS of the Tyne are set to have a familiar look to them as Wallsend welcomes a crane back to the former ship yards, thanks to a £1million pound investment.

A partnership between North Tyneside Council and the private sector is resulting in WD Close & Sons Ltd and Titan Heavy Transport Ltd locating the crane at JupiterParc@Swans in a bid to improve the quayside facilities, an attraction for new companies seeking to locate to this Enterprise Zone site on the North Bank of the Tyne.

Work starts on assembling the 100 base of a Dutch crane at WD Close and Sons, Wallsend Shipyard.

Work starts on assembling the 100 base of a Dutch crane at WD Close and Sons, Wallsend Shipyard.

Dean Close of W D Close who specialise in offshore engineering fabrications and his business partner Chris Taylor of Titan have formed a new business called Jupiter Offshore Services Ltd, and invested over £1m in bringing a crane in from Holland to the former shipyard site.

Already on site, in pieces, a planning application has been submitted for the installation of the 57-metre high crane on the Quayside at Jupiter Parc, which will give businesses a new option for transferring heavy manufacturing goods into or out of Tyneside by river.

Once the crane is re-erected, Jupiter Offshore Services Ltd will offer the use of the crane to all businesses located on Jupiter Parc as well as other businesses in the local area needing to transport goods or materials by sea using the new quayside facilities.

Dean Close, Works Director of Engineering for WD Close said: “W D Close has now been situated on the Jupiter Parc site for six months and we have seen a significant increase in both enquiries and orders. This has enabled us to create 50 new permanent jobs in the local area.

“We have been seeking an opportunity to arise allowing us riverside access to enable us to expand our business and are extremely thankful to North Tyneside Council especially Linda Arkley the elected mayor and her team for her support throughout the transition period.

“We have recently begun the regeneration of the east end of the former Swan Hunter site and are currently erecting a new 20,250 square foot fabrication facility; this will complement our existing on site 30,000 square foot fabrication & assembly halls.

“In conjunction with this our company have invested heavily with Titan and North Tyneside Council to bring the 240 tonnee lift capacity crane and install this permanently on the Jupiter Parc site.

“We trust this will attract business from far and wide and enhance the local economy and create further employment.”

The proposal is part of North Tyneside Council’s ongoing work with its partners - including the Homes and Communities Agency and the North East Local Enterprise Partnership - to improve the infrastructure on the site to encourage investment by employers, and the crane will be a communal facility to enable businesses operating on the site to benefit from river access.

Elected Mayor, Linda Arkley said: “I know that the local population had a great affection for the previous giant cranes that used to be based on the Swan Hunter site.

“Unfortunately we were not able to retain those, but this new crane will be a positive marker that Swan Hunter is back open for business and has a new exciting future that is already driving economic success and creating jobs. “And it will also be able to support advanced manufacturing employers in transporting heavy goods by river, rather than by road. This is a more sustainable form of transport.”

This is essential for those businesses in the offshore wind energy generation, tidal and wave technology, oil and gas exploration and extraction, advance subsea manufacturing and technologies, which are to be the focus for the future of this strategic site.

Martin Wilks Capital Development manager at the Homes and Communities Agency said the installation of the crane was excellent news for the Enterprise Zone and the wider North Bank of the Tyne.

He said: “A crane of this capacity will help ensure that Jupiterparc@swans will offer a  highly competitive engineering facility with permanent heavy load-out capability.”