Tees Valley has ‘appetite and expertise’ for more powers

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THE Tees Valley has the appetite for a greater influence on its own future.

That’s the view of Stephen Catchpole, the managing director of the regeneration agency Tees Valley Unlimited, who believes the area could benefit from greater devolved powers.

He said: “Government economic policies need to help Tees Valley businesses optimise their assets, embrace new and emerging technologies and make sure that future generations of workers have skills and knowledge relevant to employers.”

Mr Catchpole said there were fears that any plans to move decision and policy-making away from London “runs the risk of creating extra layers of bureaucracy.”

But he said there were already “organisations, frameworks and mechanisms in Tees Valley that are capable of directing and leading the opportunities that devolution would bring in its wake.

Mr Catchpole added: “As well as enhancing capacity to attract private investment, boost skills and create jobs, the area is able to discuss with Government policies that would enhance its future economy.

This demonstrates that Tees Valley already has the appetite, ability and expertise to embrace any extra powers, manage additional funding and drive policies and initiatives to further strengthen the area’s industrial landscape.”