Finnish tissue paper manufacturer Metsä Tissue plans to invest “several hundreds of millions of pounds” in a new fossil fuel-free tissue paper mill in the Yorkshire town of Goole in a move that will create 400 direct jobs in the area in the next decade.

In a press statement, company officials said the new tissue mill will be the UK’s largest, which could, in turn, “significantly reduce” import demands and create thousands of additional jobs across the supply chain.

The factory will be built in several phases and will reach a production capacity of 240,000 tonnes of tissue paper during the upcoming decade.

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

Located in East Yorkshire, Goole houses the UK’s largest inland port and has a population of just under 20,000. It sits within a short drive of major cities such as Leeds, Sheffield, York and Hull, close to two major motorways. It also forms part of Humber Freeport. Several companies including British Steel, Guardian Industries and the Howden Group operate in Goole, with Metsä being the latest to signal its presence in the region.

According to the Office of National Statistics, Yorkshire and the Humber region experienced a significant increase in foreign direct investment (FDI) net inflows between 2020 and 2021, with earnings hitting £5.9bn ($7.24bn) in 2021, up from £2.9bn recorded a year before.

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Lord Dominic Johnson, the UK’s Minister for Investment, welcomed the news of the Metsä investment, saying: “We know that Yorkshire is one of the best places in the country to invest, and this announcement by Metsä further cements this. Last year alone, we saw 103 new projects in Yorkshire that were a result of inward investment, which collectively will create over 7,000 jobs.”