MORE than 6,000 jobs across the North of England were supported by North Yorkshire power station Drax last year as a new report reveals the Group contributed more than £400 million to the region’s economy.

Energy giant Drax Group, which operates its power station near Selby, contributed almost 1.7 billion towards UK GDP in 2016, including £419 million in the Yorkshire and Humber region.

The findings were revealed in a new report looking at the economic impact of Drax’s UK operations, including its North Yorkshire power station, which employs around 900 people.

The site has seen three of its six generating units converted from coal in recent years to use compressed wood pellets. It generated 16 per cent of the country’s renewable electricity in 2016 – enough for four million households, the equivalent of Leeds, Manchester, Sheffield and Liverpool.

Drax Power chief executive Andy Koss said: “This new report demonstrates that as well as playing a vital role as the country’s biggest power generator, Drax Power Station continues to play a crucial role in supporting the Yorkshire economy.

“Thanks to a sophisticated supply chain that spans both the east and west coasts of the country, Drax supported more than 6,000 jobs across the North of England last year.

“Drax works with hundreds of businesses across the Northern Powerhouse region to ensure millions of homes across the country have the power they need each day.”

Researchers at Oxford Economics used three measures to calculate Drax’s GDP contribution: the economic activity associated with the day-to-day running of the business; the activity created by the purchase of goods and services from its suppliers; and the wages the company’s employees and suppliers’ employees spend in their local area.

In the past year, Drax’s activities have supported employment in a range of sectors including manufacturing of industrial components, engineering and technical machinery, construction, IT, professional business services and transport.