A PLAN aimed at boosting UK port investment to grow trade and increase jobs and prosperity in coastal communities will be launched today.

A new ten-point plan has laid out the reforms that can turbo-charge the UK's ports.

The plan, developed by the UK Major Ports Group (UKMPG) in combination with the British Ports Association, lists a number of changes to planning law and other legislation that will allow ports to invest more quickly and flexibly, and with greater confidence.

Ideas proposed include making the impact on trade and investment a material consideration in planning decisions, and insisting special consideration should be applied to coastal communities, as is already the case for rural communities

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “The Major Ports Group’s recommendations include some eminently sensible ideas.

"Their voice in the debate will help us to make the case for Free Trade Zones in the UK, a policy that could add billions to our economy and see the reshoring of manufacturing jobs we haven’t seen in decades.

“Later this month I will present and publish my White Paper proposal for a Free Trade Zone on Teesside to the Government.”

Last year, an indepedent report found turbo-charged free ports in the region could create 25,000 new jobs in the North-East.