UK-based consultant Mott MacDonald has shared plans for the first multi-modal hydrogen transport hub in the country.

The facility, located in Tees Valley in the north-east of England, will be used for the research, development and testing of new hydrogen transport technologies.

The hub will also help in understanding the role hydrogen can play in the energy transition in the transport sector, with the UK aiming to reach net-zero carbon by 2050.

The hub is expected to come online by 2025 and create up to 5,000 new jobs in the region. The government has announced a £3m investment to kickstart the project.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “By harnessing the power of hydrogen technology, we have the opportunity to bring long-term prosperity right across the country.

“The hub will establish the UK as a global leader in hydrogen technology, paving the way for its use across all transport modes and propelling us towards our net-zero goals.”

Mott MacDonald developed the plans in collaboration with the Department for Transport (DfT), the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and Tees Valley Combined Authority.

It will include a host of facilities, including green hydrogen production, storage, distribution and refuelling stations. A research and development (R&D) centre will also be developed to support innovation and exchange of knowledge.

The hub may involve pop-up trials, in which supermarkets, online retailers and delivery companies among others will use hydrogen-powered vehicles to transport goods.

Local transport operators may also work with the transport R&D sector to deliver emission-free hydrogen passenger services.

Mott MacDonald executive chair Mike Haigh said: “We fully support the UK Government’s commitment to net zero emissions by 2050 and to the development of hydrogen as a fuel source.

“The hydrogen transport hub will benefit from the abundance of skills in the region, delivering green and inclusive recovery, starting in Tees Valley. It will also help deliver future energy sources and transport technology accessible to all.”