In February 2021, the Offshore & Renewable Energy Catapult (OREC) commissioned Ortus to deliver an important study examining the strategic impact that the Catapult delivers to the North East region, through the activities undertaken at its Blyth testing facility.
OREC engages in ongoing assessments of economic impact in relation to the support it provides to businesses through its testing and feasibility services and facilities. Whilst such studies provide invaluable insight into a central aspect of OREC’s activities, they do not cover the wider impact that results from a wide range of strategic projects and partnerships that OREC drives and contributes to. For example, its role in the Blyth Town Forum in relation to town centre regeneration; in skills through its partnership with Port of Tyne and Newcastle College; through its role in supporting novel research through its relationship with Newcastle and Durham Universities; through its supply-chain development projects; via its role on the Energy Catalyst project run by the North East LEP.
The main aim of the evaluation was therefore to describe and evidence the economic, social and policy impacts that arise from these activities in order to provide OREC with an independent assessment of the value that it adds to the North East region (and indeed the UK). This project builds on our experience in delivering impact assessment exercises and working in the renewable energy sector.