SSE Energy Solutions has announced its intention to establish a regional headquarters in Newcastle, as part of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed at advancing decarbonisation, innovation and job creation initiatives across the city.

The news follows the signing of an MoU between Newcastle City Council and SSE to accelerate the delivery of Newcastle’s Net Zero Action Plan and foster a green skills workforce of the future.

The MOU will look to provide more long-term, high-quality careers for local people in the £2.7bn low carbon economy by leveraging the city’s position at the forefront of the green industrial revolution.

As a major hub for global energy companies, Newcastle and the River Tyne Economic Corridor have been designated as a priority area for the £160m North East Investment Zone, which will drive investment and innovation in clean energy.

North East England has the highest concentration of energy-related businesses of any English region and is recognised by the Department for Business and Trade as a High Potential Opportunity (HPO) for heat decarbonisation, a key focus for SSE.

Cllr Nick Kemp, leader of Newcastle City Council, said: "SSE’s commitment to Newcastle marks a significant step towards the realisation of our net zero ambitions and will help foster inclusive economic growth in communities across the city.

“Newcastle holds the distinction of being the first city in the world where the city council, university and hospital trust each declared a climate emergency and committed to being carbon neutral by 2030 and by joining forces with SSE, we intend to show we are serious about building a more sustainable future for our city and region."

SSE can also announce today that it has been selected by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority as one of four major private sector firms to deliver net zero at pace and at scale.

The West Yorkshire Strategic Climate and Environment Partnership was signed today at the major international investor conference UKREiiF in Leeds.

The companies will advise the combined authority on the targeted investments it should make to deliver green skills, decarbonise homes and businesses, and put the region on the path to net zero carbon by 2038.