Chancellor Jeremy Hunt visited Redcar & Cleveland College today (April 20) touring a multi-million-pound Green Energy Hub as he named Teesside the UK’s new national centre for clean energy.

Joined by Mayor Ben Houchen and Redcar MP Jacob Young, Mr Hunt toured the campus that received over £2 million pounds from the Government’s Town Fund programme last year.

Named ‘The Clean Energy Education Hub’, the facility specialises in delivering training to the next generation of workers in the renewable energy sector.

Read more: New Tees Valley Business Board will work with Combined Authority

Speaking to The Northern Echo, the Chancellor called the new green hub “Conservative policies working in action” adding the clean energy sector is a top priority for the Government.

Mr Hunt added: “(Teesside) is best example in the country of how if you have people who care about how businesses flourish you can really transform an area that has in the past been left behind.”

The Northern Echo: Mr Hunt met with college tutors and students during his visitMr Hunt met with college tutors and students during his visit (Image: UK GOVERNMENT)

“This college is a fantastic example. Four years ago, it was struggling, then the Town Fund for Redcar gave £3.2 million for its transformation.”

This latest investment in Green Energy comes as the Tees Valley was named in the Spring Budget as one of eight ‘investment areas’ believed to be a future Canary Wharf.

Now, Mr Hunt today confirmed that clean energy is one of five sectors that the Conservative Government is focusing on, naming Teesside as the UK’s new national centre for clean energy.

He said: “We are going to attract billions of pounds of investment from all over the world because we can do things here like carbon capture storage and offshore wind.

“For local people it means well paying jobs in the industries of the future, and the way you get there is by upgrading people’s skills.”

The Northern Echo: Jeremy Hunt and Jacob Young during a visit in Redcar on Thursday (April 20)Jeremy Hunt and Jacob Young during a visit in Redcar on Thursday (April 20) (Image: UK GOVERNMENT)

The Echo then asked Mr Hunt whether these “skills” are part of the Prime Minister’s re-launched campaign to further maths education.

Plans would see students continuing their maths education until the age of eighteen, as current rules allow young people to drop the subject after gaining a minimum C grade at GCSE.

Now, the Chancellor admits that the population will have to “re-train” throughout our lives to accommodate for high tech jobs that drive “higher salaries”.

He added: “If we are going to be the world’s next Silicon Valley, Europe’s hub for the high tech, clean energy business industry, then we need to transform our education system.

However, a recent study showed that babies born in the North East live on average a year less than other infants born around the rest of the country.

In response to this, Mr Hunt stated there is a direct link between “poverty and lower life expectancy”.

He added: “What we want to do is eliminate poverty across the country.

“The way we do that is by allowing areas to generate their own wealth and prosperity with great industries, great businesses and great jobs.”

Asked about inflation, Mr Hunt stated that the rise in food prices is a “global phenomenon”, blaming Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine for skyrocketing bills and food prices.

Inflation currently sits at 10.1%, meaning that families across the UK and in the North East face high costs of everyday household items.

Mr Hunt said: “We’ve given out this year and last an average of £3,000 to households to help pay for their energy bills and other cost of living measures including the living wage being raised to £10.42.

“We want to do everything we can to support people. Independent forecasters say if we stick to our plans, inflation will be down by 3% by the end of the year.”

This visit also comes as Mayor Houchen faces pressure for mass sea die offs along Teesside’s coastline, prompting multiple inconclusive independent investigations into whether the deaths were related to dredging.

Wash ups have been reported in Whitby, South Gare, Saltburn and Hartlepool, after said investigations came back inconclusive as to the reason for the die offs.

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Mr Houchen then clarified the die offs, stating information sometimes gets lost in the “furore of some of the activists”.

He added: “I personally have written a number of letters to the Secretary of State, Thérèse Coffey, asking for support for fisherman.

“The Secretary of State said there is pots of money for the fisherman to bid for, and I have offered my support directly to the fisherman for them to apply for that.”