THE public are invited to decide a name for their first of three 1,800 tonne tunnel boring machines (TBM).

Sirius Minerals' new £3.2b polyhalite fertiliser project will see the TBM construct an underground mineral transportation tunnel between Whitby and Teesside.

More than 20 schools in the Redcar and Cleveland took part in a TBM naming competition, with a panel of judges from Sirius Minerals selecting a shortlist for public vote.

The shortlisted names, of which one will be printed on the side of the 225-metre machine, are: Persephone – who, according to Greek mythology, is the goddess of the underworld and of harvest; Gertrude – after Gertrude Bell, the famous explorer and archaeologist from Redcar; and Stella Rose – chosen for the word ‘Stella’ meaning ‘star’ in Latin and ‘Rose’ from Roseberry Topping.

To vote before April 1, visit