Tees Valley to become home to the UK’s first-ever hydrogen transport hub.
The Transport Hub will bring together leading figures from government, industry and academia to focus research, testing and trials across all transport modes.
£3m will be invested in the hub which the government has said could be fully operational by 2025 and could help to create up to 5,000 new jobs in the North East.
Pop-up trials could see shops, supermarkets, online retailers and delivery companies using hydrogen-powered transport to move goods and carry out last-mile deliveries.
The Department for Transport’s plan has said that the facilities within the Hub will also include a Research & Development (R&D) campus for the creation and sharing of knowledge.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: ‘By harnessing the power of hydrogen technology, we have the opportunity to bring long-term prosperity right across the country.
‘The Hub will establish the UK as a global leader in hydrogen technology, paving the way for its use across all transport modes and propelling us towards our net-zero goals.’
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen added: ‘From offshore wind manufacturing, carbon capture utilization and storage and hydrogen, make no mistake Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool are at the forefront of powering forward the UK’s clean energy ambitions.
‘Our region already produces more than 50% of the UK’s hydrogen so it was a no-brainer for the Government to set up the UK’s first Hydrogen Transport Hub in Teesside so we can lead the way in developing the technology and fully unleash our area’s potential as we build back greener.
‘Teesside has led the world in steel manufacturing and engineering for generations. Now we are leading the world in the industries of the future and creating clean good quality, well paid jobs in the process.’