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170411 | This new Marine Hub Cornwall Enterprise Zone will help Falmouth and Cornwall lead the world

This new Marine Hub Cornwall Enterprise Zone will help Falmouth and Cornwall lead the world

By Oli_Vergnault | Posted: April 11, 2017

WaveHub WaveHub FaBTest

WaveHub is the spine of MArine Hub Cornwall which is set across three sites.

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Cornwall's marine technology sector is to cement its role as a global leader after it was granted enterprise zone status.

The new Marine Hub Cornwall Enterprise Zone, covering three sites at Hayle, Tolvaddon and Falmouth Docks, will secure the county's status as a world-class centre for renewable energy in the sector.

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The hub will bring together businesses and expertise in marine renewables and technology, helping to attract investment and create well-paid jobs.

Marine Hub Cornwall is one of 12 new enterprise zones to go live this spring, sparking further economic growth across the country.

The Newquay-based Aerohub and Goonhilly Earth Station also have enterprise zone status and will be able to attract companies with special tax rebates and incentives to create space tech jobs in Cornwall.

Enterprise zones support businesses by helping budding entrepreneurs start up new businesses and helping established companies to grow.

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Sarah Newton, Conservative MP for Truro and Falmouth, welcomed the announcement saying it will strengthen Cornwall's position as a global player in marine renewables and the wider marine technology sector.

Its centrepiece is the Hayle-based Wave Hub, which is already the world's largest wave energy testing facility.

GWave's monster soon to be trialled at WaveHub off the Cornish coast. Pic by GWave.

She added: "Marine Hub Cornwall will build on previous successes and provide a great platform for businesses to grow, create well-paid jobs and work together to attract further world-class talent and investment."

Read more: Sea monster to generate electricity from waves

There are now 48 enterprise zones in England. Since the launch of designated zones in 2012, more than 700 new businesses and 29,000 jobs have been created while more than £2.6 billion of private investment has been secured.

How WaveHub works. Graphics by WaveHub.

Local Growth Minister Andrew Percy said: "Our modern industrial strategy is about creating the right environment for businesses to grow. Enterprise zones are making sure this happens across the country. This is a key part of our Plan for Britain, creating a stronger economy that works for everyone.

"These 12 new enterprise zones will help even more businesses to set up and grow. I'm confident they will build on the success we've already seen over the past five years."

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The announcement comes as Falmouth Bay will continue to be used a a test site for renewable wave energy projects for the next five years following a deal with the Crown Estate.

Some of the projects being plugged in at WaveHub. pic by Keynvor Morlift Ltd.

FaBtest, an EU-funded project, has been operational since 2011 and has involved two different technologies being deployed in the waters off Falmouth for a total of more than 30 months.

One of the prototypes, designed by UK-based Polygen Ltd, was recently trialled at the site to use the waves to generate electricity.

Seatricity at WaveHub. Picture by Seatricity.

The device, called Volta, was the first wave energy converter to be built almost entirely from high-density polyethylene (HDPE), a common but affordable engineering material.

FaBTest is a special area off the coast of Falmouth which has a licence to test prototype renewable energy devices. It is the only wave energy-testing site of its kind in England and was set up by the Falmouth Harbour Commissioners (FHC).

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Professor Lars Johanning, FaBTest project manager for Exeter University, which shares the university campus at Penryn and is leading the scheme, said the new deal meant further energy generating projects would be deployed in Falmouth Bay this summer.

The WaveSub technology, being built by Swansea-based Marine Power Systems Ltd, will be one of the projects making its way to Cornwall this summer.

Professor Johanning said: "The site offers a combination of both shelter from prevailing wind and swell direction, enabling the high levels of accessibility to deployed devices required for device development yet giving exposure to significant sea states allowing devices to generate significant electricity. This unique feature of the test site is elementary in the development of the marine energy sector, and an important selling point for the South West region."

Read more: 30 projects currently funded by the EU in Cornwall

Captain Mark Sansom, harbour master and CEO of FHC, added: "FaBTest site has already demonstrated its importance to the development of wave energy."

Adrian Fox, portfolio manager for energy assets at The Crown Estate, said: "The site, and the link to academia, provide a valuable starting point in the value chain of demonstration facilities provided by the region in its ambition to realise viable commercial marine energy generation."



WaveHub is the spine of Marine Hub Cornwall which is set across three sites.
GWave's monster soon to be trialled at WaveHub off the Cornish coast. Pic by GWave
How WaveHub works. Graphics by WaveHub
Some of the projects being plugged in at WaveHub. pic by Keynvor Morlift Ltd
Seatricity at WaveHub. Picture by Seatricity

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