First £107m infrastructure bank investment goes to Teesside green energy hub

UK Infrastructure Bank loans £107m to green energy hub, potentially unlocking thousands of jobs on Teesside.

The UK Infrastructure Bank has confirmed it will invest £107m in the South Bank Quay development at Teesworks, on Teesside, supporting around 800 jobs.

This is the first investment for the bank, which launched in June 2021 to finance innovative infrastructure projects, tackle climate change and boost growth across the United Kingdom. 

The £107m loan at South Bank will completely transform part of the former Redcar Steelworks site along the River Tees, creating a 450-metre quay to service the offshore wind sector, providing opportunities for manufacturing, storage and mobilisation of wind technology. 

The project 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 high quality jobs directly, with the potential to unlock thousands of jobs in total across the site. 

South Bank Quay is part of the Teesworks Freeport project, which aims to be the UK’s premier offshore wind hub. It has already attracted global leaders such as GE Renewable Energy, who plan to build a multimillion-pound wind turbine blade manufacturing factory on the site. 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.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak welcomed the bank'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.”

John Flint, CEO of the UK Infrastructure Bank, said: “I’m very pleased to announce our first transaction, only four 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.”

Ben Houchen, Tees Valley mayor, 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 UK Infrastructure Bank opened for business in June 2021 and has an initial £12bn of capital to deploy as well as £10bn of government guarantees, which will help to unlock investment in partnership with the private sector and public bodies across the UK. The bank is engaging with all of the combined authorities, devolved administrations and a large number of local bodies across the UK and expects to make investments across the country.

Teesworks is a £200m initiative to redevelop the 4,500-acre area to the south of the River Tees, overseen by the Tees Valley Combined Authority. Teesworks is the new name of the former South Tees Development Corporation, the first Mayoral Development Corporation outside of London. Its area covers approximately 4,500 acres of land to the south of the River Tees, in the borough of Redcar and Cleveland, and includes the former SSI steelworks site as well as other industrial assets. The area benefits from river access and includes the deep-water port of Teesport, England’s largest exporting port.

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