Tees Valley has been shortlisted to be the location for a factory making nuclear reactors in a move with the potential to create thousands of jobs.

International energy firm Holtec Britain has shortlisted Tees Valley alongside the West Midlands, Cumbria and South Yorkshire, from 14 candidates for a small nuclear reactor production factory.

The chosen location will benefit from an initial £1.3billion investment and is anticipated will add £1.5billion to the local economy over 15 years.

Construction is anticipated to directly create around 3,600 jobs with a further 400 manufacturing jobs when the factory begins operations.

The reactors would be built at the factory and then be deployed in the UK, Europe and the Middle East.A final decision to select the winner will be made in the autumn.

The scheme, which would help in the construction of two reactors and would see no nuclear fuel based at the site, could add £100million to the local economy every year when up and running.

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It comes after the region was chosen as a base for four SMRs by American power giant Westinghouse – with the quartet set to come on stream at Seal Sands in the early 2030s.

Tees Valley also reached the final shortlist of three in Rolls Royce’s SMR push of 2022.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “We’re at the forefront of clean energy technology across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool – and this shortlisting shows how we’re truly the capital of growth for Small Modular Reactor technology.

The Northern Echo: Tees Valley Mayor Ben HouchenTees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen (Image: TVCA)

“I’m confident we can convince Holtec we’re the premium site given our deep knowledge base in engineering, our great transport links via the Tees, and huge potential we have at our Freeport.

“The potential for another 400 highly skilled well-paid jobs for local people is another huge boost.

“This once again shows we’re putting down a marker to the rest of the world and showing we’re a powerhouse in green energy production and manufacturing on a global stage.”

A Holtec site visit to Teesside is due take place in the coming months.