New name, new image to attract investors to Alcan

LYNEMOUTH’S smelter site has been given a new name to try to attract more investors.

The Rio Tinto Alcan site, which ended smelter operations last year, will now be known as Northumberland Coastal Enterprise Centre.

Rio Tinto has set up a Regional Economic Development programme to try to attract investors and create jobs at the 250-acre site, which could be occupied by one main company or several smaller businesses.

The first tenant, Aartoft, moved into the smelter’s former garage late last year and hopes to employ up to 40 people, and it is thought that energy and engineering companies could be drawn to the site.

Regional Economic Director John McCabe said: “The smelter was a very well-known feature in the local community, but we felt we needed to change our identity to reflect the potential future uses of the site.

“The new name says something about our location and will hopefully resonate with potential investors and those companies looking to take advantage of the site’s credentials in order to relocate or grow their business.

“Northumberland Coastal Enterprise Centre will be at the heart of the site marketing campaign and we hope it will become firmly established in the local business community.”

Nick Atkinson, of chartered surveyors DTZ, which is acting on behalf of Rio Tinto, added: “We see enormous potential for the site as a location for companies in the renewable energy, offshore oil, gas and engineering sectors.

“At this moment in time we are open-minded as to whether it will be occupied by one main company or by a number of businesses.

“This is a unique location and the fact that it was home to a world-class company such as Rio Tinto means that issues such as health and safety are of the highest level.

“It has many outstanding benefits, not least a substantial power infrastructure, great road and rail access and close proximity to the Port of Blyth.”

For information about the site contact Mr Atkinson on 0191 223 5714.

l Rio Tinto has made Blyth Valley Citizens’ Advice Bureau the latest beneficiary of its Legacy Fund.

The charity has been awarded £16,000 to train more volunteers to provide free, confidential and impartial advice after demand for its services doubled in the last 12 months.