Offshore company’s new Great Yarmouth jobs

UP to 100 new jobs could be created in Great Yarmouth as a global offshore company look to expand their business within the town.

Plans by Weatherford International to build a new 5,800sq m office and workshop off Thamesfield Way were warmly welcomed by the town’s borough councillors as “exactly what we’re looking for” after being approved at a planning meeting last week.

The move would represent a consolidation of three bases that the firm, who specialise in the control protection of oil safety shut down systems, have around Yarmouth already. It would bring together the 120 staff under one roof.

Operation manager for Weatherford Production Optimisation, John Thompson, said that, all being well, they would be looking to employ a large number of additional staff in the coming years. “We’re looking to expand to support our business growth,” he said.

“We’ve forecast that the growth will continue, therefore it would be good to bring it all onto one site.”

He said that though internal discussions were still taking place about the site, it was looking favourable that it would proceed.

He added: “It would be a multi million pound facility and a considerable investment, and I think over the next five years we would be looking to employ another 100 people.”

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The office would be three storeys high, with two glazed towers containing stairs on either side and a service yard as well as parking facilities.

The firm first became interested in the 3.2 acre brown belt site half a year ago. It currently has bases in Viking Road, Vanguard Road and Edison Way. If things go as planned, the firm will be looking to move to the spot, which lies next to the Lichfield Community Centre and Argos, within the next 18 months to two years.

At the development control meeting last week, before giving unanimous approval to the application, councillors heard that a dyke running through the site would be left because it contained wildlife.

In response to the plans Conservative councillor George Jermany said: “This is exactly what we’re looking for.

“It ticks all of the boxes – there’s going to be employment, you can walk there and the noisy part will be away from housing.”

Weatherford International is one of the largest oilfield service companies, and employs more than 50,000 people in more than 100 countries.