Upbeat - but there’s no time to relax

STEPHEN CATCHPOLE

STEPHEN CATCHPOLE

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A GENERALLY positive month for the Tees Valley economy was offset by job losses in Hartlepool and Billingham, a new economic study has shown.

Tees Valley Unlimited has released its latest monthly economic briefing for the area.

It showed that April was “a busy month for job announcements. The Tees Valley saw a number of positive employment stories across both manufacturing and service sectors.”

But the downside was the closure of both Yuill Homes, in Hartlepool, and W A Browne (Building Services), in Billingham, following administration.

A TVU spokesman said the plus points included EDF Energy Renewables officially opening its wind farm off the coast of Hartlepool. The 27-turbine scheme is capable of supplying electricity to about 40,000 homes. The turbines will also support 15 maintenance jobs in Hartlepool.

The negative side of the month saw more than 50 people losing their jobs after administrators failed to find a buyer for the house building company, Yuill Homes.

Billingham-based drywall installer W A Browne (Building Services) was also placed into administration. Up to 80 staff have been made redundant.

Yet most of the news from a busy month of business dealings was positive.

It also included a new investment scheme which was launched to support businesses in the Tees Valley, aiming to create 700 jobs in the area by 2015.

Tees Valley Unlimited secured £7m from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund to deliver the Tees Valley Jobs and Skills Investment Scheme, which will support Tees Valley businesses looking to grow their workforce.

TVU managing director Stephen Catchpole said: “We would urge businesses to get in touch to find out if they are eligible as this is a great opportunity and companies will really reap the rewards.”