Jobs boost is ‘fantastic’

Hartlepool MP Iain Wright.
Hartlepool MP Iain Wright.

A £40m jobs boost for Hartlepool has been hailed as “fantastic news”.

The Mail revealed on Saturday how distribution firm Clipper was bringing a massive new plant to the area.

The news was described as “amazing for Hartlepool and the Tees Valley” by Hartlepool Mayor Stuart Drummond.

He added: “A really big name is investing in the area and this will certainly send out a message to other big investors that they can have confidence that this is the right place to come to.”

Distribution company Clipper is building the 350,000 sq ft plant in Wynyard to open in August next year.

The Mail understands it will create between 400 and 500 jobs with more on top of that while the factory is being built and it has already clinched its first contract as the distribution base for Asda’s George clothing range in a ten-year deal.

Hartlepool MP Iain Wright welcomed the news. He said: “It’s a really great Christmas present for the town. We have had really bleak unemployment news for the best part of two years with us being one of the country’s black spots, but the fact that Clipper has decided to invest in the local area is great news.

“I think it shows the strength of our area as a logistical hub because of our good road and port links.

“I hope Hartlepool people can reap the rewards of that investment.”

Hartlepool will be hoping for a further boost soon as it battles to win 1,000 wind energy jobs.

It is in a two-horse race with Leith, in Edinburgh, to win a wind turbine-making factory.

Madrid-based company Gamesa wants to build a UK plant to make wind turbines which will create 1,000 direct jobs as well as 800 supply chain posts.

But the decision has not yet been made with Gamesa still weighing up the two ports un the running.

A spokesman for the firm said Gamesa was ploughing £128m into its UK offshore wind business and that sort of investment “requires thorough analysis of all potential sites”.

Hartlepool will also be hoping for even more jobs when the planned Enterprise Zone starts to become reality.

Fifteen thousand jobs could be heading for the town area on sites such as Port Estates, Huntsman Pigments, Able Seaton, Queens Meadow, and Oakesway Industrial Estate, between them creating around 6,000 jobs.

Nearby, Seal Sands could create 3,135 jobs with another 400 coming to Billingham Chemicals, North; Billingham Chemicals, South; and Billingham Reach, and 6,566 to Belasis Hall Technology Park.

Tees Valley’s Enterprise Zone would aim to pull in firms from start-up businesses to international players by offering benefits such as Capital Allowance, Business Rate Relief and Tax Increment Finance.

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