A PORT operator has signed a multi-million pound contract with British Gypsum.

The five-year deal will create new jobs and cement Teesport as a major port for bulk handling on the east coast of the UK.

British Gypsum, the UK's leading plaster and plasterboard manufacturer, will bring shipments from Europe directly into Teesport every two weeks, where it will be stored in a new warehouse facility.

The contract will create four new jobs at the port to handle British Gypsum’s UK gypsum rock imports, a vital component in the manufacturing process, destined for the firm’s Yorkshire and Cumbria-based factories.

Through Teesport’s dedicated rail terminal directly linked to the new warehouse, trains will run six days a week, providing British Gypsum with a flexible and environmentally efficient solution for its UK imports.

Frans Calje, PD Ports’ CEO, said: “This announcement is great news, not just for Teesport but for the wider Tees Valley region. It signifies the high level of confidence the UK bulks and aggregates industry has in Teesport to deliver a service unrivalled by others ports on the east coast. As a deep sea port and with the capability to handle larger vessels with direct rail links from port side to customer we are able to provide British Gypsum with the best service possible."

“As part of our long-term growth strategy we have seen in excess of £50m invested in the last few years to develop and expand our platform to support the increased demand to serve the UK’s bulks and aggregates market from Teesport.

“This investment symbolises our commitment to the future, providing an important addition to our wider plans at Teesport and its pivotal role in driving government plans to rebalance trade through the Northern Powerhouse.”