Ecco Newsprint can go ahead with plans to build a paper recycling mill in the Tees Valley after finalising a 125 year lease agreement with One Northeast, the development agency for North East England. Ones 66 acre site at Wilton international is now officially under option to Ecco, which has also been offered the option of six extra acres of land if it wants to expand the site. Planning consent for the site was secured in 2006. Ecco said that the additional capacity that this mill will offer is a response to market imbalance in the UK. The UK newspaper printing market, the majority of which is made from recycled paper, is the largest newsprint market in Europe. But of the 2.65m tonnes of newsprint used in the UK, 66% is imported. Commenting on the site Ecco chairman Ramsay Hampton said: "Wilton International has a number of strong attractions as a location for our state of the art recycling mill. It benefits from significant energy and water resources as well as excellent transport links to customers northern press rooms and to the rest of the UK and overseas through Teesport. One director of regeneration John Holmes added: The project represents another major advance in the region's commitment to the recycling industry, which must be a priority if were to ensure our future generations have a high quality of life. Tees Valley Regeneration strategic investment and marketing director Neil Kenley said: "We have been working with Ecco for more than two years to ensure this paper mill - and the huge investment it represents - comes our way. Image: The Ecco Newsprint facility site. Richard Hunter, Tees Valley Regeneration (second left), Alastair Howard, One NorthEast (third left), Marcus Moir, CEO of Ecco Newsprint (centre) - with members of the SembCorp team.