Ben Houchen, Mayor of Tees Valley
Chloe Shakesby

Tees Valley mayor makes bid for clean energy centre that could create thousands of jobs

The Teesside mayor has called for the government to create a clean energy transport hub which could create thousands of jobs in the region.

Ben Houchen has today put forward a bid to establish a National Hydrogen Transport Centre in Teesside, which he says with further strengthen the region’s clean growth ambitions and pave the way for more clean energy jobs and investment.

Setting up a national centre in the region would result in the testing of new hydrogen technologies, including for cars, buses, trains, bin lorries and trucks, taking place in Teesside, where more than half of the UK’s hydrogen is already produced.

The mayor said that the knock-on benefits of a strong hydrogen economy include adding up to £7bn to the region’s economy from now until 2050, creating thousands of jobs in the process.

Mayor Houchen commented: “If the government wants to prove to the people of Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool that it is serious about its levelling up agenda and giving the north the attention and investment it deserves, then bringing the National Hydrogen Transport Centre to our region would be a no-brainer.

“Hydrogen is playing a massive part in our future plans. We already produce more than 50 per cent of the UK’s hydrogen, so by becoming the home of the National Hydrogen Transport Centre, we could properly utilise this and fully unleash our area’s potential.

“Hydrogen is vital to our clean energy recovery plans. This includes cars, trains, buses and also trucks which would make transporting goods and materials in and around ports cleaner.

“This investment would help us reinforce our expertise in hydrogen, not just in the UK but globally.

“Hydrogen and Net Zero Teesside aren’t just a key part of my plan for jobs – a plan to create good quality, high skilled local jobs for local people across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool – but they will create the clean jobs which are essential for our recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and our future.

“We are already leading the UK in new, clean and innovative technologies. The UK’s first trial on e-scooters on UK roads took place in Middlesbrough this week, providing us with a clean, innovative form of travel that is widely available as a clean energy, socially distant mode of transport.

“Teesside has led the world in steel manufacturing and engineering for generations. Now we can become a trailblazer in the industries of the future.”

Jacob Young, chair of the all-party parliamentary group on hydrogen and conservative MP for Redcar, commented: “New hydrogen technologies will form a major part of the UK’s path towards a cleaner, greener future and I want Redcar and Cleveland to be at the centre of this exciting emerging sector.

“It’s great to be part of a united conservative front on this, pushing for success for all of Teesside.

“Our region already produces more than half of the UK’s Hydrogen and I am determined to see Redcar and Cleveland become a UK centre for innovation in new hydrogen technology.

“Working alongside Ben and his team, I’m certain that we will be able to put Redcar front and centre of those plans.

“This would represent a huge investment for the whole of Teesside and will bring thousands of jobs to an area that is raring to go.”

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