Another major inward investment has been announced within the Humber Freeport, underlining the Humber region’s growing status as a magnet for game-changing developments.

Finnish tissue paper manufacturer Metsä Tissue has selected part of the proposed Goole tax site – one of three within the Humber Freeport footprint – as the location for the UK’s largest tissue paper mill.

Metsä Tissue plans to invest several hundreds of millions of pounds in the development, which will be built in phases over the coming decade. It will create more than 400 jobs on site over that timescale, with thousands of indirect jobs generated across the supply chain and in the local economy.

The state-of-the-art facility will increase the UK’s self-sufficiency in the manufacture of essential tissue products, using the latest in sustainable production technology.

Metsä Tissue is part of Metsä Group, a Finnish forest industry group that produces recyclable and sustainable products from renewable wood in Nordic forests. Metsä Tissue currently operates nine mills across Europe, with the Goole mill planned to be the company’s biggest in terms of scale of investment and production.

Humber Freeport Chair Simon Bird welcomed the news as the latest major vote of confidence in the region and Humber Freeport.

He said: “Metsä’s announcement regarding the proposed Goole tax site is a great boost for the Humber Freeport that builds on other recent successes.

“It will help us deliver our wider ambitions around promoting job creation and regeneration, as well as supporting the levelling up agenda.

“This development is particularly exciting due to its scale and that it is a new investment into the UK by a major international business that is one of the leading European tissue manufacturers. It is also consistent with two of our key areas of focus – decarbonisation and advanced manufacturing.

“It’s clear there is now very significant momentum behind the Humber as a location of choice for large-scale investments delivering very significant and long-lasting economic benefits.

“The Humber offers many major advantages for investors and these are multiplied for developments such as this which are located within the Humber Freeport footprint.”

Esa Kaikkonen, CEO of Metsä Tissue, said: “Goole is the perfect location for this proposed investment. The Humber region provides a crucial gateway to the whole of the United Kingdom and the region’s ambitions to bring cutting-edge green technology and jobs to the UK matches our ambitions in clean, sustainable manufacturing.”

The Metsä Tissue facility is the latest in a string of major investments planned for Humber Freeport sites, delivering on the freeport’s mission to act as a catalyst for large-scale investments driving economic growth and job creation.

These include Pensana’s £150m rare earth metals processing plant, now under construction, and plans by Meld Energy to invest £180m in a green hydrogen production facility, both at Saltend Chemicals Park, east of Hull, which sits within the freeport footprint.

Businesses investing in Humber Freeport sites benefit from accelerated capital allowances, stamp duty and land tax relief, business rate relief, and no employer National Insurance contributions for the first three years.

Last month the specific footprint for the Goole freeport tax site was submitted to the Government. It covers a total of 200 hectares of land, split into two plots separated by the M62 motorway, including the location of the proposed Metsä Tissue facility.


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