Businesses across Teesside, County Durham and North Yorkshire are being invited to get involved with the delivery of an innovative new energy generation and storage facility.

North East employer The Banks Group is looking to invest around £3.5m in developing a Flexible Energy Park on the Bowesfield Crescent Industrial Estate in Stockton-on-Tees, which will include a natural gas/hydrogen “peaker plant” and an electricity storage battery as well as ancillary infrastructure.

After undertaking a range of public consultation work last year, County Durham-headquartered Banks submitted a planning application for the proposed scheme to Stockton Borough Council in December.

The family-owned firm is hoping to get a decision on the scheme from the Borough Council’s planning committee in the first few months of 2021, but to help ensure it can make a fast start if it gets the go-ahead, it is now beginning to assemble a team of local contractors to work on the project.

The Banks Group has a longstanding policy of working with local suppliers and contractors wherever possible and previously awarded contracts worth over £1m to businesses based within a 20-mile radius of its Moor House wind farm near Darlington when it was built four years ago.

If the Bowesfield scheme is approved, contract opportunities will cover building and civil works including road surfacing, drainage and the supply of concrete, aggregates and other building materials.

Opportunities to provide support services such as plant and cabin hire, security, cleaning and hotel accommodation will also be available.

Mark Rowcroft, technical manager at The Banks Group, says: “Working with locally-based contractors not only allows us to manage our relationships more easily and efficiently, but it also helps us maximise the direct economic benefits that we can deliver to the businesses in our local communities.

“We’ve been able to call upon a wide range of different regional suppliers for our previous projects in the North East, and will be aiming to further increase this number through the Bowesfield Flexible Energy Park.”

The Banks Group was the original developer of the Bowesfield site, a unique mixed-use site on the banks of the River Tees in Stockton which includes an integrated 15-hectare wildlife conservation area.

The proposed site for the energy park has been chosen due to its good infrastructure links and access to Northern Powergrid’s electricity network, and is well screened by fencing, wild brambles and other plants.

Mark Rowcroft adds: “Peaker plants and battery storage will play an important part in the UK’s continuing journey to Net Zero by providing greater security of energy supply which in turn allows more renewable generation onto the network.

“Having already invested in creating something unique at Bowesfield, we’re now looking to invest in delivering another significant new scheme in our home region and hope the members of Stockton Borough Council’s planning committee will recognise the many benefits that it would bring to their area.”

Local businesses interested in working on the Bowesfield Flexible Energy Park scheme should contact the project team via bowesfield@banksgroup.co.uk for further details of the opportunities that would be available if the project is given the go-ahead.

For general information on the scheme and to register your support for it, please visit https://www.banksgroup.co.uk/projects/renewables/bowesfield-energy-flexibility-park-stockton-on-tees/