Jessie Joe Jacobs has outlined her green vision to transform the Tees Bay and create 10,000 jobs. The Labour candidate in the Tees Valley mayoral elections has unveiled ambitious plans for the SSI Teesworks site that will unleash a new clean, green renewables industrial revolution.
A massive Net Zero Industrial Park is key to putting a future-proofed Tees Valley at the forefront of the coming boom in renewables, carbon capture, hydrogen and electric vehicles.
The area will also be opened up as an important leisure resource and will include a unique steel heritage trail centred around the iconic heart of the old blast furnace.
“The Tees needs not just a free port but a green port to unleash the next industrial revolution.
“We will deliver the infrastructure required for an expanded carbon capture usage and storage cluster, working closely with local industry experts.
“We will develop innovative new hydrogen-based technologies with significant global commercial potential, and back crucial clean steel research, development and production to help meet the challenges of the global climate emergency.
“I will champion our area’s expanding low-carbon sector with a Green Industrial Park and Green Fund for Net-Zero business investment and infrastructure.
“The Net-Zero industrial park will offer land and investment to green industries and will sit at the heart of my climate economy strategy.
“Over four years, the fund will put resources behind workable projects, pilots and innovation. The former SSI site and port area will become home to wind turbine, hydrogen, a gigafactory making batteries and fast charging tech for new electric vehicles and a 300 acre publicly owned solar farm that will generate power for home and generate £10m a year that will fund other green projects.
“And to ensure we have the skills to meet the challenge of the future I will create an army of 10,000 workers trained for the jobs in these climate industries, renewables and the mass retrofitting of public building and the roll out of charging points.”
Alongside the industry of the future there will be a celebration of the industry of the past with the old blast furnace at the heart of a world first steel heritage trail as part of a reshaping of the Tees Bay as an important leisure resource. She said:
“There are three miles of almost undiscovered land along the Tees Bay that we will open up as a nature reserve, a woodland park with 80,000 new trees planted and a leisure facility with mountain biking and zip wires, watersports, a science discovery centre and cafes and other facilities built in repurposed shipping containers.
“And we will create a world first sculpture trail that celebrates our industrial heritage, marking out the steel-making process and leading to a reimagined and illuminated iconic Blast Furnace, which I have pledged to save.
“That will be part of a drive to make the Tees a go-to destination which along with new attractions like a virtual reality theme park in Hartlepool and a VR railway heritage centre at Darlington will help create 28,000 jobs in tourism.”