An economy and skills-boosting pledge for the future has been forged between Angus Council and the company behind a £31 million subsea centre of excellence being developed in Montrose.
At a ceremony in Forfar on Thursday, local authority bosses and key figures from GE company Baker Hughes (BHGE) penned a Memorandum of Understanding to reinforce their partnership approach towards future projects to deliver wide-ranging benefits for the town and wider Angus.
The council and BHGE have identified key areas in which to work together to develop the Montrose subsea centre of excellence campus – a £31 million project announced earlier this year – and at the same time benefit the community and BHGE’s workforce.
Angus Council leader David Fairweather said: “This MoU marks the formalisation of what has been a long-standing, very positive partnership between Angus Council and BHGE, one that has already achieved very significant inward investment into Montrose and Angus.
“BHGE received a Scottish Enterprise grant of £4.9 earlier this year to help develop a £31m manufacturing campus in Montrose.
“As a council, we have invested £3 million in the Montrose Road South scheme, something that has already achieved a return of £100m in private sector investment.
>>24 Days of Christmas – Click here for special festive deals from some of our favourite local businesses
“There remains massive potential for development and growth, which is good for local jobs and good for the economy.
“I’m delighted to make this long term commitment to working together with BHGE in trying to achieve just that.”
Key areas of work include community engagement; examining the potential for volunteering projects in the area, as well as supporting existing or new community projects, and skills development.
The project will look at the three sites currently occupied by BHGE in the Montrose area and explore how they might be further developed.
It will also look beyond the town to the north Angus masterplan and consider the growth for the area over the next three to four decades, as well as how any development might make best use of the Tay Cities Deal.
Graham Gillies, BHGE vice-president of Subsea Production Systems and Services said: “We have been working closely with Angus Council for many years and are pleased to continue further developing this relationship which benefits our local communities, our workforce and our customers.
“Our work with local schools to support the next generation of oil and gas professionals is a particularly strong example of the collaborative approach that is helping support a more sustainable future for the industry.
“We look forward to continuing to work with Angus Council as we develop our new subsea campus in Montrose, which will design and manufacture industry-leading technologies for some of the most significant energy projects around the world.”