A NEW windfarm base in Harwich is set to offer guided tours, apprenticeships, help in school projects and even hands on community work.

The benefits to Harwich, including a £10million boost to the economy and 120 construction jobs, were revealed at the official inauguration of the Galloper Offshore Wind Farm, off the Suffolk coast.

Now complete, the wind farm will run for 23 years and is expected to generate enough power for 380,000 UK homes each year.

As part of the ongoing servicing and running of the wind farm, a new operations and maintenance base will be built in Harwich.

Sean Chenery, operations and maintenance manager, said: "We have been here for ten months at Harwich International Port but now we have a foot in Harwich we will engage with STEM ambassadors and start to engage with the schools.

"And one thing I am offering the community is when the guys are on weather days, when the significant wave height is 1.8m and we can't get out there, we can go and help out.

"We could do painting or decorating - we were told about the Mayflower 400 celebrations in 2020 we could help with.

"And one of the things we are doing now is looking at teaming up and a local college."

Currently the team works from the port but building works on the new base are due to be completed by late 2019.

Harwich councillor Ivan Henderson, who was at the inauguration event, said: “Galloper are really pleased that they can now settle down permanently and get on with their business here in Harwich.

“Not only will they provide a strong opportunity for jobs and be going into schools, providing future employment, but there will be a spin off in terms of extra business for other local businesses as well.

"They are now looking to go into schools, offering opportunities of apprenticeships.

"It was all about Harwich which is great.”