A “first” for Tees Valley

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A REGENERATION group has stolen a march on its UK rivals by clinching a partnership deal which could lead to more business for Hartlepool.

Tees Valley Unlimited has become the first Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) in the country to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) - the Government department that helps UK-based companies to succeed.

It means UKTI will highlight the strengths of the Tees Valley to potential foreign investors whenever they show an interest.

Neil Kenley, TVU’s director of business investment hailed the coup as another indication of Tees Valley’s proven record of excellence in industry.

He said: “Together, UKTI’s Inward Investment Service and TVU will look to ensure greater foreign direct investment by better utilising existing knowledge of local assets and capabilities.”

The latest boost comes just weeks after the Tees Valley was given Government approval to become an enterprise zone.

Up to 5,000 jobs could be created for the zone which includes the Queens Meadow, Port Estates, and Oakesway areas of Hartlepool as well as Belasis Hall and the New Energy and Tech Park in nearby Billingham.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will direct international projects towards the UK and promote Tees Valley’s key resources and financial incentives.

Martin Phelan, Director of Investment at UK Trade and Investment, said: “Our team will work with Tees Valley Unlimited to develop the best inward investment propositions and identify the projects for which Tees Valley presents a natural home.

“This MoU will be a vital part of improving the experience for companies wishing to invest in the UK. It will harness valuable private sector skills while at the same time further strengthening the important link with local communities and business.”