Port of Tyne has signed up for a new partnership aimed at creating jobs and boosting exports and prosperity across the North of England.
A new Northern Ports Association will see Port of Tyne join forces with Teesport, Liverpool and Hull.
The association’s creation is a recommendation in thinktank IPPR North’s Northern Ports report, which highlighted the domination of southern ports and the problems this creates in transporting imports and exports across the UK.
For instance, at present, 60 per cent of freight destined for the North is delivered to southern ports - leading to unnecessary motorway traffic, delays, pollution and inefficiency.
The Association is being launched in parliament this evening, with the four ports signing a Memorandum of Understanding to take forward the commitment.
Speakers will include Transport minister John Hayes; chairman of the Commons Transport select committee Louise Ellman MP, and former Deputy Prime Minister Lord Prescott.
Ed Cox, Director of IPPR North, said: "Post-Brexit, the Northern Powerhouse agenda is more important than ever.
"Far from the powerhouse being a Whitehall-led scheme, northern businesses are leading the charge and creating much-needed jobs and prosperity.
"For just £100million, the Government could open-up east-west port connections and create a gateway to a global North. This is exactly the kind of ‘shovel-ready’ project the government
is looking to be eyeing-up ahead of the Autumn Statement."
Geoff Lippitt, PD Ports’ Business Development Director, said: "The launch of the Northern Ports Association is incredibly positive, it will unite us in developing a stronger, more
progressive and prosperous northern economy linked to international trade.
"The commitment of the major northern ports to collaborate and seek out ways to work together delivering solutions to challenges facing the industry such as trans-Pennine
connectivity and the skills agenda will benefit us all.
"We are in changing and uncertain economic times therefore it’s important that the North and Northern ports are seen as a progressive body to drive through that change. We at PD Ports
have always been at the forefront of developing economic growth through our investments and this complements what we are already achieving locally, regionally and nationally."