Stepping up jobs drive

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CAMPAIGN chiefs are stepping up the bid to bring businesses and jobs to the Tees Valley Enterprise Zone.

Superfast broadband is being seen as one of the attractions for companies to re-locate to Teesside. Steps are being taken to deliver it.

The people leading the drive for jobs are making sure they know what broadband facilities are already in place, and what else needs to be done.

The campaign has been detailed in a new publication called the Enterprise Zone Update, prepared by the regeneration agency Tees Valley Unlimited.

It says Tees Valley campaigners have submitted a plan to the national broadband organisation BDUK, and it includes work carried out by consultants who have analysed the existing services as well as the need for increased broadband.

A TVU spokesman said: “A range of partners have been involved in determining the demand for increased broadband, such as Enterprise Zone groups, local authorities and the Tees Valley Rural Community Council who have held community events.

“In order to increase the scale of the project, it has been decided that the Tees Valley authorities will team up with Durham County Council and Gateshead Council to procure a contractor through a government framework to deliver the broadband improvements.”

In August last year, Hartlepool was confirmed as having a significant share of the Tees valley-wide zone.

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 are included in the approved zone.

The areas set aside for small and medium sized companies alone could create 3,000 jobs across the Tees Valley by 2015 in a plan hailed by the Government as “bold and clever”.