A PORT authority has had its say on whether it should be allowed to become a Freeport – potentially bringing in huge investment and jobs to the region.

PD Ports submitted its response to the Government’s consultation on Freeports on Wednesday.

The response underlines the huge investment and jobs boost that a Freeport located on the River Tees can deliver for the local and regional economy.

Within its response PD Ports highlights how the right Freeports model can turbo-charge development opportunities for the River Tees.

An innovative and ambitious Freeport could enable the whole Tees Valley to further capitalise on its strengths as a leading chemicals and manufacturing centre, increasing the potential for additional inward investment and creating thousands more jobs.

It would build on the 32,000 jobs already identified by the Tees Valley Combined Authority in its response to the Government’s consultation.

The response also highlights the region’s success in creating strong partnerships to attract new investment, including PD Ports’ track record of working alongside businesses and stakeholders to bring over £1 billion of direct and indirect investment to the Tees Valley.

Jerry Hopkinson, PD Ports COO and vice chairman, said: “PD Ports is a longstanding supporter of Freeports and we were delighted to welcome ministers to announce their plans last year.

“Both ourselves and the TVCA have highlighted the transformative potential that Freeport status offers and we’ve worked hard to see how we can bring that potential to reality.

“As the custodians of the River Tees, we share the ambition of both local and national Government, our partners across the region and, most importantly, our fellow citizens in the Tees Valley to work together to use Freeport status to win new investment, drive regeneration and create thousands of jobs here on Teesside.

“The River Tees is one of our region’s greatest assets, able to handle amongst the largest vessels in the world, offering state-of-the-art port facilities and infrastructure, and thousands of acres of strategically-located development land.

“Combined with the region’s leading research and technological capabilities, its skilled workforce and manufacturing traditions, there is nowhere else in the UK better equipped to make Freeports a success.”