Energy and Clean Growth minister Claire Perry was on Teesside to reaffirm the government’s commitment to clean growth.
The region has the potential to exploit opportunities from future growth industries such as carbon, capture usage and storage (CCUS), district heating and the hydrogen economy.
The UK government has made a firm commitment to regeneration and clean energy production in the Teesside area, with an ambition for 25,000 new jobs and over £1 billion of investment across a 10-year period, and on Thursday Perry spoke about making that a reality.
“Today I have seen the exciting opportunities here to regenerate this iconic site, and, crucially, bring skilled jobs and clean growth to the area,” she said.
“I look forward to seeing the development of these proposals to develop and breathe new life into this site.”
The government has already invested substantial amounts in the area and the autumn budget set out a further £123m of funding to continue work to secure the site.
During her Teesside visit, the minister met Tees mayor Ben Houchen, the Local Enterprise Partnership, Clean Growth investors, the South Tees Development Company and members of the South Tees Site company as well as taking a tour of the former steel site at Redcar and Cleveland.
Houchen said: “Our concentration of industry along the coastline perfectly places the region as the go-to location for green energy proposals such as Carbon Capture and Storage.
“It is fantastic that Government recognises our industrial strengths and has reaffirmed their commitment to developing this transformational proposal.
“I was delighted to share our ambitious plans with the Minister today, and made clear to her that Teesside is ready and waiting to take this forward.
“A move to low-carbon, clean energy offers a remarkable economic opportunity for our area and the UK as a whole.
“Our projects would attract inward investment, create jobs and put Tees Valley at the forefront of the clean energy revolution. Now we need to work constructively with government to push ahead and make these schemes a reality.”
The site is of particular interest in the development of carbon capture usage and storage – which aims to capture carbon dioxide emitted from industry and power plants for permanent storage under the North Sea. This game-changing technology and many more exciting projects were discussed as part of today’s visit.
Business Minister Richard Harrington was also on Teesside setting out his vision through a keynote speech to workers, industry and local MPs at Community Union’s Steel Sector Conference.
The minister talked about his commitment to steelmaking regions across the UK and the importance of putting the sector at the heart of the UK’s Industrial Strategy.
Last year, the government set out its plan for growth and regeneration across the UK with its Industrial Strategy aiming for an economy that boosts productivity and earning power throughout the UK. A key part of that is growing new jobs, and Teesside has a crucial role to play.