THE UK’s first research, development and testing centre for hydrogen transport will be based on Teesside, the Government has announced.

The first-of-its-kind Hydrogen Transport Centre will result in the research, development and testing of new hydrogen technologies, including for cars, buses, trains, lorries, boats and planes taking place in Teesside, where more than half of the UK’s hydrogen is already produced.

Complementing the Tees Valley Net Zero Innovation Centre, the hydrogen centre will further strengthen the region’s clean growth ambitions while paving the way for hundreds of opportunities in the clean energy sector.

The centre, which will provide a place for academic and industrial experts to collaborate and drive forward the use of hydrogen as an alternative fuel, will create hundreds of jobs while cementing the North-East as a global leader in the green hydrogen sector.

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Combined with renewable electricity, hydrogen can be produced, stored and used to generate heat and electricity without producing any greenhouse gases or air pollutants.

A strong hydrogen economy could add up to £7 billion to the regional economy from now until 2050.

The Hydrogen Transport Centre also sits alongside plans to build the world’s biggest hydrogen refuelling station in Teesside – plans which have already been backed by Government.

Mayor Ben Houchen, who secured the site, is delighted.

He said: : “This is yet more proof we are the number one place in the country for hydrogen research.

“Hydrogen is playing a massive part in our future plans. We already produce more than 50 oer ent of the UK’s hydrogen. By becoming the home of the National Hydrogen Transport Centre, we can properly utilise this and fully unleash our area’s potential

“I’ve always said that if the Government wants to prove to the people of Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool that it is serious about its levelling up agenda, then bringing the National Hydrogen Transport Centre to our region would be a no-brainer. That is exactly what they have done and it shows once again how much they recognise the potential of our region.

“Teesside has led the world in steel manufacturing and engineering for generations. Now we can become a trail blazer in the industries of the future.”

The hub will sit alongside thew Tees Valley Net Zero Innovation Centre, and will be built next to TWI technology centre in Middlesbrough.

This is in partnership with Teesside University to form a new innovation campus focused on clean energy research and development.

Teesside University’s pro vice-chancellor, research and innovation, professor Simon Hodgson said: “Finding new ways to produce clean energy is integral to ensuring a sustainable future for the planet and a key focus of our university’s research.

“This announcement puts Middlesbrough and the Tees Valley at the forefront of the UK’s hydrogen economy.

"We are delighted to be able to bring our research and expertise to bear in helping provide an innovative solution to the climate emergency.”