A vision of a new £21.4m offshore energy campus for Great Yarmouth has moved a step closer with the award of a key contract.

Construction firm Tilbury Douglas will build the new facility, tipped as providing a major boost to the economy and bringing 650 jobs.

Demolition works on the South Denes peninsula were carried out last year to prepare the site for development, and construction is set to start in January 2023.

The build, which is due to take around 12 months, will see 190m of river quay refurbished and upgraded, along with the creation of new vessel pontoons, and a revised road layout.

Delays in finding a company to build it were among reasons given for a £3.4m increase in the project cost.

Close to £4m is being provided by Town Deal cash.

Graham Plant, deputy leader of Norfolk County Council and cabinet member for growing the economy, said: “The offshore energy sector provides Great Yarmouth and Norfolk with arguably the single most important economic opportunity for a generation.

"Oil and gas has been a mainstay of the local economy for over 50 years and the recent emergence of offshore renewables has presented Great Yarmouth’s port, its supply chain and its skills base with the chance of enjoying hugely significant growth and investment.

“Preparing the site for further development, aided by the creation of Great Yarmouth’s third river crossing, we hope to stimulate much needed housing and employment growth, supporting our environmental goals and collective recovery from the pandemic through investment in green energy, which is ever more crucial given the current situation with soaring energy costs.”

Carl Smith, leader of Great Yarmouth Borough Council, said: “After 50-plus years in the industry, it’s with pride that we say Great Yarmouth is recognised as England’s energy sector capital.

“Alongside the third river crossing, Market Place investment and the new Marina Centre redevelopment, this infrastructure investment will provide further potential for the borough, positively impacting local businesses and offering job opportunities to residents as Great Yarmouth’s regeneration and economic growth continues to develop.”

Commissioned by Norfolk County Council the project is a collaboration with Great Yarmouth Borough Council and the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).