A NORTH-EAST port, which is creating about 300 jobs, says it expects to pick up more business after unveiling a £6m crane to increase loads.

The Port of Tyne, in South Shields, South Tyneside, has invested in the gantry crane, weighing 750 tonnes, which the firm says will increase work at its container terminal.

Bosses say the crane will be operational in August, and could increase production by more than 25 per cent.

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Andrew Moffat, Port of Tyne chief executive, said it would further enhance the port's standing after last year increasing turnover to £63m and staying as the UK's largest car exporter.

The port is also developing its main Riverside Quay to store and transport the production a £180m project, which it says will create up to 300 North-East jobs and maintain 900 construction posts, and its logistics division handles major brands including Barbour, Ringtons, JML and Tetley.

Mr Moffat said: “The crane will improve productivity and put us in a much stronger position to gain new business and achieve growth.

“Last year, the Port of Tyne’s contribution to the North-East economy was valued at £0.5bn, supporting 10,000 jobs, and this major investment will further support new businesses importing and exporting in the manufacturing, retail and energy sectors.”