Businesses are being urged to explore opportunities to get involved with rapidly growing offshore wind sector in Cumbria and beyond.

Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership, the Furness Economic Development Forum (FEDF) and Department for International Trade (DIT) have joined forces to host a major supply chain event at Barrow’s Abbey House Hotel next month.

Cumbria boasts one of the largest concentrations of offshore windfarms off the coast of Walney Island, with plethora of operations and maintenance bases in Barrow and further north of the West Cumbrian coast.

Businesses will be offered a briefing on emerging supply chain opportunities locally, nationally and internationally at the event, which takes place on Thursday, November 21 between 9am and 12.30pm.

As well as supporting developments in Cumbria, major exporting opportunities to countries including the USA, Taiwan, Korea, Australia and Northern Europe have also been identified.

Stuart Klosinski, FEDF Project Manager, said: “This event will demonstrate how local companies can offer innovative solutions to enhance offshore wind operations and maintenance.

“A massive pipeline of new wind farm projects is set to take place around the UK coast and internationally from 2020 onwards. Orsted anticipates developing 13,462MW overseas. A forecast additional 20,439MW UK capacity will be installed additional to the 8,012MW operational today.

“The new Crown Estate’s Round 4 of offshore wind sea bed leasing, now underway, will pave a way for huge new wind farm projects on our doorstep in the Irish Sea. With early knowledge of emerging potential, firms will be able to pursue significant new business”.

Miranda Kirschel, Cumbria LEP’s head of business and innovation, added: “There is a growing national and international offshore wind market that presents a fantastic opportunity for Cumbrian businesses, many of which are already leading in this field.”

Representatives from the DIT will also be on hand at the event to offer their insights on how to enter overseas markets and outline the support that might be available.

The event will also introduce a new strategic partnership extending from the North West to Wales – the Offshore Energy Alliance – which will work to ensure economic opportunities through the offshore wind sector are maximised.

Businesses can register for the event at the Eventbrite website.