THE Government has confirmed it is investing £3m in a hydrogen transport hub in Teesside.

The UK's first hydrogen transport hub, set to be located in Middlesbrough, was announced last year.

The Government says it plans to publish its masterplan for the hub today – and has confirmed £3m in funding for the project.

It could create 5,000 jobs in the area be operational by 2025.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “By harnessing the power of hydrogen technology, we have the opportunity to bring long-term prosperity right across the country.

“The hub will establish the UK as a global leader in hydrogen technology, paving the way for its use across all transport modes and propelling us towards our net-zero goals.”

The Government says the creation of "real world" hydrogen transport pilots will help it understand the role hydrogen could play in helping the UK meet its target of having zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Pop-up trials could see shops, supermarkets, online retailers, warehouse operators and delivery companies using hydrogen-powered transport to move goods and carry out last mile deliveries.

It could also see transport operators working with the research and development sector to deliver emission-free hydrogen passenger services, such as on-demand regional buses, or zero-emission refuse vehicles.

A spokesperson for the Department for Transport said the masterplan would include a blueprint of the infrastructure required.

The facilities will enable the production, storage and distribution of hydrogen, linked to a network of hydrogen refuelling stations that will service operational trials across transport modes between 2025 and 2030.

The hub will also include a research and development campus to help understand the role of hydrogen as part of the energy transition in the transport sector.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “From offshore wind manufacturing, carbon capture utilization and storage and hydrogen, make no mistake Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool are at the forefront of powering forward the UK’s clean energy ambitions.

“Our region already produces more than 50 per cent of the UK’s hydrogen so it was a no-brainer for the Government to set up the UK’s first Hydrogen Transport Hub in Teesside so we can lead the way in developing the technology and fully unleash our area’s potential as we build back greener.

“Teesside has led the world in steel manufacturing and engineering for generations. Now we are leading the world in the industries of the future and creating clean good quality, well paid jobs in the process.”

The Government will also provide £4.8 million, subject to business case, to support the development of a hydrogen hub in Holyhead which will pilot the creation of hydrogen from renewable energy and its use as a zero-emission fuel in HGVs.