HUNDREDS of jobs could be created at a former Hampshire shipbuilding site, the Daily Echo can reveal.

Global energy giant GE has revealed plans to open a research, design and development hub for renewable technology on the former Vosper Thornycroft site in Woolston that could create up to 250 new jobs.

Under the plans, the firm would build a facility dedicated to renewable technology which would include research, testing and the development of wind turbine blades and other renewable technologies such as onshore and offshore wind and hydropower.

The proposed hub would consist of one large-scale building which would create 100 highly skilled engineer and technician jobs and 150 supply chain roles.

It comes just a day after the Echo reported that Hythe based yacht-builder Green Marine had gone into liquidation, with nearly 50 jobs lost.

The company says the scheme is a much bigger version of a previous plan for a 24-hour wind turbine manufacturing plant on the same site which was granted planning permission in April.

Councillor Simon Letts, leader of Southampton City Council, said: “It’s fantastic news for the city.

“It would bring high-end engineering jobs for the city to a site which was once the place where the Spitfire was built and has a strong link with shipbuilding.”

Councillor Warwick Payne, who represents Woolston on Southampton City Council, added: “Our community has a proud history of skilled engineering, ranging from producing Spitfires to the many vessels that left the former Vosper Thornycroft shipyard.”

Councillor Payne added: “Concerns were raised about noise and late-night disturbance when the original plan was discussed, and over the coming weeks I’ll be seeking feedback from residents in terms of whether a larger factory is acceptable or a deal-breaker.”

GE, which currently employs 18,000 staff in the UK, said: “When completed, the development will cement Southampton’s place as the centre of composite excellence and will be another important step in GE’s strategy of renewable energy investment in the UK.

“This is the company’s preferred location among a number of international locations based on a number of key factors which include an excellent supply base, and an available pool of highly experienced staff at all levels with strong local academic institutions.”

The plans will be considered by Southampton City Council later this year.