Teesside project secures investment to boost Net Zero ambitions

An Environment Agency partnership project has been successful in securing funding to boost ambitions for the new Teesworks Freeport to become the first UK Net Zero Carbon industrial cluster.

Environmental regulators will work in partnership with operators and developers in the Tees Valley to co-design systems that support the sustainable economic growth in the new Freeport.

The Teesworks Greener Freeport project has been made possible by a £175,000 grant from the Regulators’ Pioneer Fund launched by The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

It will investigate how permitting can be used as a positive tool to reduce emissions to air and water as part of the overall ambition to facilitate the development of the first UK Net Zero Carbon industrial cluster.

Environment Agency Project Lead Eddie Halstead is working closely with Natural England on the project. He said: “The Tees estuary has a complex ecosystem that hosts the largest UK Freeport as well as being a highly protected environment. This project presents a unique opportunity to test the interface of two key pillars of the post EU exit policy – the levelling up agenda and the forthcoming environmental bill. It will achieve mutual benefit for low carbon business and operators and environmental regulators, and produce learning that can be replicated for emerging Freeports across the UK.”

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen added: “This project is fantastic news that will boost our Freeport’s clean energy credentials and support our ambitions to become the UK’s clean energy and renewables powerhouse. It means that we’re not only leading the way in getting the UK to net zero by 2050 with projects such as Net Zero Teesside, but also doing it the right way. This great project will also help inform best practice for other emerging Freeports, once again putting our region at the forefront of innovation and ahead of the game in Freeport development.”