The UK expects to launch its 7GW offshore wind Round 4 leasing round in “late spring”, confirmed seabed landlord the Crown Estate.

The body – which manages marine leasing off England and Wales – is assessing more feedback gathered as part of its consultation with the industry.

The official launch of the leasing round will be followed by a bidders information day ahead of prequalification.

Round 4 has already been boosted from 6GW to 7GW following “positive feedback” from the sector.

The Crown Estate in November said it expects to prioritise certain regions – Dogger Bank, the Southern North Sea, East Anglia, North Wales and the Irish Sea.

The Crown Estate Scotland, which manages the seabed in the devolved UK nation, is advancing its own process there.

The UK’s world-leading offshore wind sector hopes to imminently conclude a ‘sector deal’ with the government to cement its key role in the nation’s industrial and energy plans, in return for policy visibility towards a 30GW installed base by 2030.

The sector has another big date in its calendar on 29 May when the UK government kicks off its latest contract-for-difference auction, which is expected to award up to 6GW of capacity and be dominated by offshore wind.