Scores of new companies set up shop in Hartlepool

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HARTLEPOOL is winning the fight to attract more businesses - and all the signs are good for even more progress.

They’re just some of the findings of a new quarterly study which has been prepared by the local enterprise partnership Tees Valley Unlimited.

Regional exports totalled £12.4bn across the four quarters of 2014

It has looked at the state of the Tees Valley economy in a “concise snapshot of economic, business and labour market issues and trends”.

It shows:

l 81 new firms started up in Hartlepool this year;

l The number of companies registered in the town has gone up to 2.584;

l Companies registered across the whole of the Tees Valley rose from 17,514 to 17,690 between February and March this year;

l The latest Tees Valley employment rate stood at 67.7 per cent, up by 0.1 per cent on the previous period;

l Since the post-recession employment low point between October 2010 and September 2011, Tees Valley employment has risen by 21,600 to reach 293,700;

l The number of 16-24 year olds employed in Tees Valley rose by 4,700 in the three years to September 2014.

The North East is one of the strongest exporting regions in the UK. The report said: “Regional exports totalled £12.4bn across the four quarters of 2014. North East imports totalled £8bn and there was therefore a regional trade in goods surplus of £4.5bn for 2014.

“This was up from a surplus of £3.3bn in 2013. Once again the North East was the only English region to record a trade in goods surplus.

“Nationally, goods exports fell by 3.9 per cent in 2014, with exports to all parts of the world decreasing. In contrast, the North East saw robust growth in exports driven by increases to both the EU and the US. After a weak 2013, goods exports to the EU rebounded by £834m or 14 per cent in 2014, whilst exports to the US were up by £610m or 59 per cent on the year.”

There was also good news in the employment sector. The study showed that, while the country as a whole saw employment in people aged 16 and over grow by 4.8 per cent in the three years to October 2013 to September 2014, Tees Valley employment rose by 7.9 per cent.

Tees Valley employment increased across all age groups whilst the UK employment increase was mainly confined to the 25-49 and 50+ age groups.