A FORMER subsea engineering firm boss is leading an energy project aimed at delivering hundreds of North-East jobs.

Andrew Hodgson has been appointed chief executive of Atlantic SuperConnection.

Officials say he will oversee the delivery of a near 1,000-mile high-voltage subsea cable from Iceland to the UK and a sister North-East cable-making factory.

They say the scheme is expected to deliver 500 jobs and pump in around £200m in GVA every year.

Atlantic says it will be the first open ocean subsea cable of its kind and will provide the UK with renewable energy from Iceland’s hydroelectric and geothermal energy sources.

Construction is planned to start next year and be completed by the mid-2020s.

Bosses have yet to confirm a North-East site for its factory.

Mr Hodgson, who last year stood down as chief executive of North Tyneside remotely-operated vehicle maker Soil Machine Dynamics, said: “This represents a unique opportunity to create a high-tech manufacturing hub in the North-East and hundreds of high-value jobs for the region.

““It is a privilege to be leading a team of such high-calibre individuals for an organisation that is ready in terms of both the technology know-how and the financing to see this nationally significant project delivered by the mid-2020s.”