Tees Ports Put a Strong Case for Beating the Great Divide

The Journal (Newcastle, England), September 20, 2005 | Go to article overview

Tees Ports Put a Strong Case for Beating the Great Divide


Middlesbrough's and Hartlepool's ports are major drivers of the region's economy. At the heart of an area driven by petrochemicals, manufacturing and engineering they see 6,000 vessels pass through their harbours every year.

More than 54 million tonnes of cargo from across the continents makes its way through the region's ports.

And working 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the ports are a round-the-clock hive of activity.

Middlesbrough-based PD Ports owns the ports of Teesport and Hartlepool ( and is also the statutory harbour authority.

More than 500 people are currently employed locally by the company across a huge range of services from cargo handling to marine operations.

In addition to PD's operations, almost 30 other companies operate berths and terminal facilities along a 17km stretch of the River Tees, offering a wide variety services.

But it's hoped that the ports operations of the Tees can grow even further.

PD Ports together with logistics warehousing group Gazeley, have secured planning permission from Redcar and Cleveland Council for a new pounds 20m distribution and import centre to be built at Teesport.

Port bosses have remained tight-lipped on who would be using the "logistics hub", but Gazeley is a wholly-owned subsidiary of supermarket Walmart which also owns Asda.

The port has proposals to create up to 3,000 new jobs through developing a total of six import centres at Teesport.

PD Ports is also behind a planned pounds 300m investment to build a deep sea container port at Teesport.

Its development would create 500 jobs on the dockside.

But it would generate up to 4,000 jobs in the Tees Valley for those involved in the supply chain.

Yet the port faces tough opposition from the expansion of ports in the south of England.

A delegation from the company and Teesside MPs has already met ports minister Stephen Ladyman MP to press the case for the North and Teesport in particular. PD Ports has been well supported locally in its call on the Government to give priority to its proposals over planned development of three southern ports.

This could help bridge the pounds 30bn North-South divide.

But any lingering hopes that ministers would step in to hold back southern developments were quashed by the minister, who said such action would be illegal.

Southern ports looking to develop are a London Gateway port at Shellhaven near Thurrock, plus two others at Felixstowe and Harwich. …

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