THE new UK Infrastructure Bank has announced the first ever project it plans to invest in - and it is based in the North East.

The bank, which launched in June 2021 to finance innovative infrastructure projects, tackle climate change and boost growth across the United Kingdom, will invest £107m in the new South Bank Quay at Teesworks.

The Northern Echo:

The loan will see part of the former Redcar Steelworks site along the River Tees transformed into a 450-metre quay to service the offshore wind sector, providing opportunities for manufacturing, storage and mobilisation of wind technology.

Those behind the project claim it will "significantly boost the UK’s capability in this sector, supporting the Government’s target to be a world leader for offshore wind by 2035 and the UK’s plan to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050."

The UK Infrastructure Bank deal will support around 800 jobs directly, with the potential to unlock thousands of jobs in total across the rest of the Teesworks site as development intensifies in the coming years.

The Bank is operationally independent from Government - projects are assessed by the Bank, approved through an Investment Committee and signed off by the UK Infrastructure Bank Board.

The Northern Echo:

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “This investment will make the first part of the South Bank quay a reality, which will support GE Renewable Energy’s facility on our site and the thousands of construction and long-term jobs it will create as we drive forward these cleaner, healthier and safer industries.

“It’s also another string to our bow for other businesses looking to locate at the 4.5million sq ft of advanced manufacturing space just next door, which will make us central to the UK’s offshore sector. That this is the bank’s first ever investment is yet another vote of confidence in our region, our innovation and our ability to lead the green and clean technologies of the future.”

The Northern Echo:

hancellor Rishi Sunak welcomed the UKIB’s first deal saying: “It’s great to see the UK Infrastructure Bank is already doing deals and helping deliver on our pledge to level up and reach Net Zero.

“This is a vote of confidence in the Tees Valley economy and our new freeports that will help turbocharge Britain’s post-Brexit growth.”

CEO of the UK Infrastructure Bank, John Flint said: “I’m very pleased to announce our first transaction, only 4 months since our launch and one that fits with our objectives so clearly. South Bank Quay will not only boost economic activity in the region but is a significant investment in the country’s future green technologies.

“We are looking forward to working with the team and encourage other local and regional bodies to get in touch with us on how we can work together to finance projects across the country.”

Redcar MP Jacob Young added: “We made a commitment when we took control of the former Steelworks, to transform the site and create the jobs of the future. Through Teesworks, and our plans for the UK’s largest Freeport, we are unlocking those jobs and delivering for Teessiders.

“The new quay on the South Bank is the next step in that mission and was part of the reason we were able to secure GE’s new wind turbine manufacturing on Tees.

“These decisions don’t happen by accident. They are the result of determined leadership, a skilled workforce and the very same geography which made us Steel Captial of the world.

“From the south banks of the Tees, we led the world in the industrial revolution, now from that same riverside we will lead the world in the green industrial revolution.”

The South Bank Quay will be used as part of the Teesworks Freeport project, which has already attracted global leaders such as GE Renewable Energy. The company plans to build a multimillion-pound wind turbine blade manufacturing factory on the site.

Teesworks bosses also say the quay will play a critical role in the loading out and shipping of these blades to the Dogger Bank wind farm, 80 miles off the coast.

The Northern Echo:

Earlier this week, plans were formally submitted for a skills academy aimed at getting people ready for work at the site.

The training will be delivered by Darlington College, Hartlepool College of Further Education, Learning Curve Group, Middlesbrough College Group, NETA Training Group, Redcar and Cleveland College, Stockton Riverside College and Teesside University.

The £2.1million development is being delivered by UK contractor Graham. If approved, the two-floor, 5,400sq ft academy will include three classrooms, plus office space and meeting and interview rooms will be used to house the Teesworks Skills Academy team as well as a base for hot desking for companies looking to come on site, internal training events, information sessions, networking and more.

The majority of the construction is set to take place in January ahead of its opening in March 2022.

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