Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

A Vision to Bring Jobs and Investment to Teesside

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

A Vision to Bring Jobs and Investment to Teesside

Article excerpt

Byline: Mike Blackburn Senior Reporter mike.blackburn@trinitymirror.com

DYNAMIC plans to drive growth and secure the economic future of Teesside in the wake of the SSI collapse were put forward today by the region's big hitters.

The Shadow Board for the South Tees Development Corporation will focus on the regeneration of a 5,000-acre area south of the River Tees, including the SSI site.

The independent shadow board comprises elected leaders from each of the area's five councils and partners from leading local businesses.

Chair of newly-promoted Boro, Steve Gibson, will sit alongside the likes of Bob Cuffe, regional managing director of Trinity Mirror North East, Jane Turner, pro vice chancellor at Teesside University and Amanda Skelton chair of the SSI Task Force.

The board met for the first time yesterday and kicked off discussions about their future vision for the South Tees area.

Today's meeting will be the first of many as the Development Corporation looks to secure inward investment to create jobs in the area.

Former Deputy Prime Minister Lord Heseltine and local leaders revealed in February plans for a new Mayoral Development Corporation - the first of its kind outside of London.

The aim is to drive forward regeneration and local economic growth in the wider Teesside area.

The Tory peer has been tasked with heading efforts to drive investment to Teesside amid a jobs crisis. But he warned in the wake of the SSI crisis there will be no quick fix. Lord Heseltine said after today's meeting: "Key to the economic future of the Tees Valley will be securing strong business investment to create jobs for the skilled workforce affected by SSI's closure.

"These dynamic local civic and business leaders will provide the strategic vision to make that happen and give investors from the UK and abroad the confidence to put down roots in the Tees Valley for years to come."

The appointment of Lord Heseltine as chair of the Tees Valley Inward Investment Initiative was the Government's response to the loss of more than 2,200 jobs at SSI, and the double jobs blow at the Boulby potash mine and HMRC offices on Teesside, which could see up to 1,400 jobs go. …

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