Stobart Energy will create 40 direct jobs in the North East of England when it opens a new wood management site today.

The business has based itself on a facility directly adjacent to the River Tees, which has its own quay within Port Clarence, on the outskirts of Stockton-On-Tees, for the 16-acre multipurpose site.

Stobart Group received a grant of £492,500 from the Tees Valley Combined Authority to contribute towards the project. The building work started in Q3 2017 and, when up and running, the wood management site will receive two shipments per week of up to 5,000 tonnes of renewable fuel.

Stobart Energy also intends to name a new truck ‘Jean Jean’ after Jean Orridge, headmistress of High Clarence School, and long-serving Stockton-On-Tees Billingham South ward Councillor Jean O’Donnell.

Ben Whawell, CEO of Stobart Energy, said: “I am delighted to open our latest wood management facility. The successful completion of the project is a testament to the hard work of our Stobart Rail and Civils team. Stobart Energy has been trusted to deliver once again and new jobs have been created in the process.

“It is also great that we have made two such strong and impressive private sector partners as part of this project in Wilton and A V Dawson. As a keen rugby coach and fan, I’d also like to take this opportunity to back the Combined Authority’s bid to bring the Rugby League World Cup 2021 to Tees Valley.”

Bill Scott, CEO of Wilton Engineering, said: “We are thrilled to have Stobart Energy basing itself within our existing facility. It’s a great coup for Stockton to have such a renowned company investing in our area and bringing with it much needed jobs, and we very much look forward to having an excellent long term working relationship.”

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen, said: “This is great news for Tees Valley and I’m delighted to welcome the energy division of Stobart Group to the region. We’re seeing yet another big household name put down roots in our area and call it home.

“The enthusiastic show of support from one of the key players in UK biomass recognises our bold aspirations, not just for industry but also culturally. This dedication will have a huge knock-on effect to other businesses and our region in general.

“Our £490,000 grant to Stobart further demonstrates a commitment to our growing renewables sector, and also the companies that will help us lead the way as the country’s energy powerhouse. Tees Valley is open for business.”

Councillor Nigel Cooke, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Housing, said: “We are delighted to welcome such a huge brand in Stobart Energy to the Borough. It joins the other major international businesses that have already established a presence here and are proud to call Stockton-on-Tees home.

“The level of investment involved in this particular project and the number of jobs it will be bringing for local people are both very positive. It’s definitely a further vote of confidence both in the Tees Valley and Stockton-on-Tees as a place that is open for business.”