Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen’s praise for Hartlepool’s ‘new kids on the block’

Orangebox founder Simon Corbett (left) and Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen. Picture by FRANK REID
Orangebox founder Simon Corbett (left) and Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen. Picture by FRANK REID

A young Hartlepool business that has grown rapidly in a short space of time has been praised by the Mayor of Tees Valley.

Orangebox Training Solutions on the town’s Queen’s Meadow business park was set up just two and a half years ago and has steered more than 9,000 people through a host of courses for the business and other sectors.

It is going through a period of great expansion, including providing management training courses in the Middle East, Fiji, New Zealand and America for clients.

Orangebox was started by Simon Corbett, who previously worked with Durham Constabulary and the National Crime Squad and National Crime Agency.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen paid a visit to the business to hear about its work, including how its employability courses are helping unemployed people find work, thanks in part to funding from the Tees Valley Combined Authority.

Mr Houchen said: “Orangebox may be the new kids on the block, but the team has achieved a lot in a very short space of time.

“With Brexit on its way, Orangebox is already doing what all Tees Valley businesses, big or small, should be – throwing its arms open and embracing the opportunities from across the globe.

“It was a pleasure to meet Simon and the team and learn how they are giving back to the region.”

Orangebox’s funded employability courses are open to anyone aged over 19 who is in receipt of benefits or earning below the National Minimum Wage.

They offer a qualification at the end and interview with a prospective employer.

The business is expanding substantially after recently buying The London School of Academies and Arts.

And Orangebox has just teamed up with Property Webmasters in Church Street, Hartlepool, to create a Digital Academy to help tackle a digital skills gap and unemployment in the area and region.

Glen Hughes, design and marketing manager at Orangebox, said: “What we are doing all links into the mayor’s priorities and he wanted to celebrate a Hartlepool company that is doing well.

“We had a good chat about funding and looking ahead to next year continuing to get people back into work and get more businesses on board to fill their positions.

“Ben was very complimentary. He had done his research and knew about what we are trying to achieve here.

“It was very positive.”