Rishi Sunak has hinted that the Teesworks site could be on the brink of a major breakthrough – with an international investor said to be close to committing to the region.
During the chancellor’s budget on Wednesday, Mr Sunak delivered a range of business boons for the Tees region, including freeport status.
The freeport zone on Teesside will include a number of sites around the region, including Teesport,
Wilton International, Teesside Airport, the Port of Middlesbrough and the Port of Hartlepool.
Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen says a major investor is close to agreeing a deal that would bring hundreds of jobs to the former SSI site now known as Teesworks.
And in his budget speech this week, Mr Sunak said: “Offshore wind as an innovative industry, where the UK already has a global competitive advantage.
“So we’re funding new port infrastructure to build the next generation of offshore wind projects in Teesside and Humberside.”
He added: “When I look to the future of Teesside, I see innovative, fast growing businesses getting local people into decent, well paid, green jobs.
“I see people designing, manufacturing, and exporting incredible new products and services.
“I see people putting down roots in places they are proud to call home. I see a people optimistic and ambitious for their future.
“That is the future economy of this country.”
Mr Sunak said freeports are well established internationally, but after revealing eight freeport zones across the country including Teesside, added that “we’re taking a unique approach”.
“Our freeport approach will have simple planning, allowing businesses to build. Infrastructure funding to improve transport links,” he said.
“Cheaper customs with favourable tarriffs, VAT or duties, and lower taxes. With tax breaks to encourage investment and job creation.
“An unprecedented economic boost across the UK.”
Click here to see our round-up from Wednesday’s budget.