Town firms help to boost the economy

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THE traditionally quiet month of August has seen new jobs created for the Tees Valley – and many of them were in Hartlepool.

The latest economic briefing produced by regeneration agency Tees Valley Unlimited (TVU) spotlighted the summer month’s job creation statistics.

A TVU spokesman said: “Traditionally a quiet time for new job stories, this August has been a little more positive with a number of notable announcements.”

Among them was the Wynyard-based Nortech Group taking on new staff to meet increased demand across the oil and gas sector.

Nortech Group – made up of Nortech Solutions, Nortech Staffing Solutions and Nortech Oil and Gas – has taken on 17 new staff in the past six months.

Elsewhere, the Hartlepool branches of McDonald’s announced 30 more staff for its town outlets, as first reported in the Hartlepool Mail.

The fast growing chain has recently invested more than £1m in re-imaging and expanding its Hartlepool Marina branch.

We told how McDonald’s has already taken on 50 people this year in the branches, operated by franchisee Mark Nuttall.

But more posts are on the way, and Mark previously told the Hartlepool Mail: “We are looking for people that will develop and go further, not just come in and do the same thing day in and day out.

“We are looking for people who want to better themselves through career opportunities.

“The opportunities for management are there.”

Both Nortech and McDonald’s helped to produce a brighter outlook for the Tees valley economy and TVU officials say that has been reflected across the area.

The TVU spokesman added: “August has continued the recent relatively quiet period for reported job gains and losses, with relatively few announcements.

“However, while there were not a large number of job gains, the recent trend for few, if any, job losses continues.”

Experts say there were other pluses for the Tees Valley as well.

The Business Acceleration for SMEs programme (BASME), created its own milestone.

The project, run by the North East Process Industry Cluster (NEPIC), supports small and medium-sized companies through mentoring.

The spokesman said: “BASME has signed up its 200th business and created its 170th job.

“The programme, which uses a mentoring approach, supports small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) in the delivery of direct new sales, promotes export opportunities and improves processes to bring new products and services to market.”

But business officials are also expecting more good news.

The spokesman said: “Business survey evidence suggests that private sector output and new orders continued to pick-up with both the service sector and the manufacturing sector in particular showing some of the strongest levels of performance for some time.”