The UK's most advanced wastepaper recycling plant, currently under construction in Prudhoe, has offered a sneak preview of its progress.

The Unifibres operation, located on Princess Way, provides recycled paper pulp to the neighbouring Essity tissue mill and its Swedish parent company's other locations in the North West.

This is turned into leading brand products like Cushelle, Plenty, Velvet, and Tork.

Glen Sanderson, the leader of Northumberland County Council, along with Gordon Stewart, a councillor for Prudhoe South, and Hexham MP Guy Opperman, paid a visit to commemorate the end of construction and to hear about more planned investments.

Councillor Sanderson said: "Investing millions of pounds in the site is not just a great thing to do for Prudhoe but for the whole of Northumberland.

"There’s a great team, doing great work and a fantastic product – I’m just so pleased they are employing so many people and creating real household names that are made here in Prudhoe."

The project, which represents the largest financial investment in Prudhoe Mill since the installation of its second paper machine in the early 1980s, involves the total demolition of the existing Unifibres complex, which is 50 years old.

The next 18 months will see the installation of new machinery and transfer of some existing production equipment in four replacement buildings, located towards the centre of the site and less visible from the main road.

An Essity spokesman said: "The importance of this multi-million-pound investment cannot be over-stated.

"It reduces our dependence on virgin pulp, will enable us to recycle lower-grade paper and board, enhances our ability to segregate plastic and metal contaminants, reduces waste sent to landfill and improves energy efficiency.

“Our old Unifibres facility was at the end of its working life – and this scale of investment helps secure the future of the mill, helps us to continue meeting demand for our products such as Cushelle, Velvet and Tork and, importantly, provides a more attractive and safer working environment for our 420+ employees.”