MORE evidence has been provided of the transformational effect on the region’s economy from a £3.2bn fertilizer mining project.

An independent study suggests Sirus Minerals’ plans to mine the natural fertilizer polyhalite will add 17 per cent to the economic output of North Yorkshire and boost the size of the Tees Valley economy by 18 per cent.

They are also predicted to lead to the creation of more than a thousand high-paying jobs.

When the plans were first mooted there were objections from those who feared the beauty of the North York Moors National Party would be adversely harmed.

But Sirius pushed ahead and was eventually granted planning permission.

Construction has now begun on the firm’s Woodsmith Mine site near Whitby.

Two 1,600m long shafts are being drilled to extract the polyhalite, a unique fertilizer proven to boost crop yields.

The polyhalite will then be transported through a 23-mile long underground tunnel to a new processing plant and harbour facility at Wilton International on Teesside, close to the site of the old Redcar steelworks.

A report by consultants Quod said there would be investment from other supply chain companies, creating a “clustering” effect at Wilton. More widely, millions of tonnes of fertilizer will be exported around the globe, adding £2.3bn to Britain’s economy each year.

Chris Fraser, managing director of Sirius Minerals, said there would be huge economic benefits for years to come.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said the report underlined what a fantastic project it was and described the plans as a “transformational opportunity”.