Hartlepool and Billingham leading the economic fightback, according to Tees Valley Unlimited

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COMPANIES in Hartlepool and Billingham are leading the Tees Valley fightback to economic prosperity.

Jobs announcements in both towns were the highlight of a promising month of growth during July, according to the monthly economic briefing by regeneration agency Tees Valley Unlimited.

There were more than 500 new jobs announced with 350 of them coming from the Heerema Fabrication Group in Hartlepool.

It will create 350 posts to handle the contract to build four gas platforms for the Cygnus gas field project in the southern North Sea.

The deal also means around 10,500 tons of fabrication work will be done in Hartlepool and will ensure work in the yard until 2015.

The company has appointed Teesside specialist recruitment consultancy Fircroft to attract workers from across the region.

The good news month also extended to Billingham-based technology company Tracerco which is developing an £8.6m research and development centre alongside its existing site in the Tees Valley Enterprise Zone.

The plans will mean 50 new jobs on top of the 150 people Tracerco already employs in the area.

A TVU spokesman said July had been “more positive” after a relatively quiet June. They added there was evidence of a “general pick-up in business outlook across all sectors, albeit from a low base”.