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New Body Will Secure Tees Valley Investment Funds

Major progress has been made in the push to create jobs, propel growth, and strengthen the future economic prosperity of the Tees Valley.

Lord Heseltine, the former Deputy Prime Minister, confirmed that a Mayoral Development Corporation (MDC) would be formed to push local economic growth and regeneration in the area. This initiative, the first of its kind to be formed outside of London, will put local residents at the heart of the drive to deliver new jobs and businesses.

After SSI closed in October, the government has put together a multi-million pound support package for the community. Lord Heseltine has been encouraging investors in the UK and overseas to help create new jobs across the Tees Valley.

He recently visited PD Ports to watch the completion of a project to improve Teesport infrastructure. It is located in the middle of the site that will benefit from the new MDC.

Local business leaders predict that the investment will rejuvenate the local economy. Communities Secretary Greg Clark stated that the closure of SSI had been difficult for the entire Tees Valley area, and he is determined to continue gathering support for the local community.

Mr Clark confirmed that up to £80 million in government funds have been pledged to ensure that former SSI employees and businesses affected by the closure will get much-needed support.

Lord Heseltine said that the new Mayoral Development Corporation will provide the vision and the drive to regenerate the area and give investors the confidence to sink their money into a new and improved Tees Valley infrastructure.

 

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Cllr Sue Jeffrey, who serves as the Chair of the Tees Valley Shadow Combined Authority said that she welcomed the confirmation that the UK government is establishing a local body to ensure short-term safety and economic security, but she is more concerned about the long-term regeneration of the area.

Ms Jeffrey explained that the focus should not solely be on new structures and boards. The authority will work with the government to obtain the necessary funding and powers to create a sustainable future for the entire Tees Valley area.

The government’s £80 million support package includes:

  • - A Jobs and Skills Fund to help local companies provide jobs to former SSI workers or their spouses for a minimum of 3 years
  • - Support for companies in the SSI supply chain and wider Tees Valley that have been negatively impacted by the closure
  • - Assistance for former SSI apprentices to continue their apprenticeships with other employers

 

The recent devolution arrangement with Tees Valley councils acknowledged that the MDC could bring many benefits to the area, including the establishment of the Tees Valley as a central part of the country’s future growth.

An advisory board will provide direction to the MDC for the regeneration of sites across the valley. Ministers, with assistance from local partners, will select members for the board. Work will start immediately to deliver an important part of the devolution deal, with authority devolved from Westminster to the new Mayor by next year.

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