Tees Valley is set to become home to what is claimed to be the UK’s first hydrogen transport hub.
The government has today announced a new £3 million investment to kickstart the project, which it suggests could create up to 5,000 new jobs in the North East.
The hub, which is expected to be fully operational by 2025, will bring together policymakers, industry and academia to focus on research of hydrogen technologies.
Pop-up trials could see local shops, supermarkets and retailers use hydrogen-powered transport to transport goods.
It could also see local transport operators working with the transport research and development sector to deliver emission-free hydrogen passenger services, including on-demand regional buses or zero-emission refuse vehicles.
Transport Grant Shapps said: “By harnessing the power of hydrogen technology, we have the opportunity to bring long-term prosperity 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 commented: “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.”