A record-breaking port in England is aiming to use the momentum of the offshore energy sector to bring more business to the region.
The Port of Tyne says it is talking to an international firm which could help to set up a North-East base as it focuses on wind turbine production.
The port achieved record cargo volumes and turnover for a fifth consecutive year, with cargo increasing to 8.1 million tonnes in 2013 and turnover at £73m.
Chief executive Andrew Moffat said Siemens’ decision to build a £160m turbine factory on the River Humber was evidence companies were looking to the North.
He said: “For the last few years, there has always been the view that demand for coal will reduce. That’s why the offshore sector is very important to us, the region and the River Tyne.”
He added: “We have been speaking to an international company, who have looked around and said that, if they come to the UK, they will come here.”
He concluded: “Offshore in its broadest terms is something that we have to look to exploit going forward.”
Bosses are also progressing with £180m plans to build warehouses, designed for storing thousands of wood pellets for the renewables market.