THE site of the former Rio Tinto smelter in Lynemouth is to be renamed ‘Northumberland Coastal Enterprise Centre’ as part of a major marketing plan to attract investors.
The 250-acre site operated since 1972 as the Alcan smelter but closed in 2012 with the loss of more than 500 jobs.
Rio Tinto has since deployed a programme of Regional Economic Development (RED) to attract investors and create jobs, but it has a long way to go to take the place of Alcan as an economic driver.
The site already has its first tenant with the arrival of Aartoft Limited in late 2012. The company operates in the construction sector and hopes to employ up to 40 people after taking up residence in 18,000 sq ft of space, previously the smelter’s garage.
John McCabe, regional economic development director, Rio Tinto, 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.”
Nick Atkinson of chartered surveyors, DTZ, acting on behalf of Rio Tinto, said: “We see enormous potential for the site as the 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.”