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Port of Tyne set for major expansion

Plans have been unveiled for a major expansion of the Port of Tyne.

The port wants to enlarge its facilities for importing wood pellets, with an investment of 180 million pounds.

The port development would create 900 construction jobs followed by 300 posts when the new development is up and running.

The pellets would be burned in power stations as an environmentally friendly alternative to coal.

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Threat to Port of Tyne

The Port of Tyne's cruise liner business, which employs hundreds of people, could be under threat from what's being described as an 'illegal' terminal on Merseyside.

It has led to demands today for Liverpool to pay back £9m pounds of European money - the grant was given to the city on the condition that cruises did not start and end in the River Mersey.

The MEP for the North East, says Liverpool's failure to comply with that condition means the city is breaking the law and jobs at the Port of Tyne could be affected.

MEP says plans will affect Tyneside

A North East MEP says Liverpool's plans to start and end cruise holidays will affect business at the Port of Tyne.

The city council was given a £20 million grant to build a new terminal at Pier Head, which port chiefs want to use for turnaround cruises.

The move would normally breach state aid rules. But the Department for Transport has said it would allow the rules to be lifted if the council repays some of the money.

Conservative MEP Martin Callanan says the plans are "unfair" to ports who have not received similar funding, and that Liverpool should be forced to pay back the UK and EU grants in full before proceeding.

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