The North of England’s four main ports have agreed a new partnership to create jobs, boost exports and prosperity across the whole of the North of England.
The new Northern Ports Association – made up of Teesport, pictured above (ran by PD Ports), Liverpool (Peel Ports), Hull (ABP) and Tyne (Port of Tyne) – will mean the North can act as a genuine gateway to the world, connecting Atlantic shipping in Liverpool in the west to the east’s links with the continent.
The association’s creation is a recommendation in IPPR North’s Northern Ports report, which highlighted the domination of southern ports and the problems this creates in transporting imports and exports across the UK.
At present, 60% of freight destined for the North is delivered to southern ports – leading to unnecessary motorway traffic, delays, pollution and inefficiency.
The association was launched in parliament last night (Tuesday), with the four ports signing a Memorandum of Understanding to take forward the commitment.
Ed Cox, director of IPPR North, said: “Post-Brexit, the Northern Powerhouse agenda is more important than ever.
“Far from the powerhouse being a Whitehall-led scheme, northern businesses are leading the charge and creating much-needed jobs and prosperity.
“For just £100m, the government could open-up east-west port connections and create a gateway to a global North. This is exactly the kind of ‘shovel-ready’ project the government is looking to be eyeing-up ahead of the Autumn Statement.”
Geoff Lippitt, PD Ports’ business development director, said: “The launch of the Northern Ports Association is incredibly positive, it will unite us in developing a stronger, more progressive and prosperous northern economy linked to international trade.
“The commitment of the major northern ports to collaborate and seek out ways to work together delivering solutions to challenges facing the industry such as trans-Pennine connectivity and the skills agenda will benefit us all.
“We are in changing and uncertain economic times therefore it’s important that the North and Northern ports are seen as a progressive body to drive through that change. We at PD Ports have always been at the forefront of developing economic growth through our investments and this complements what we are already achieving locally, regionally and nationally.”