THE man who has spearheaded Tees Valley’s resurgence for the last three years is leaving.
Stephen Catchpole, the managing director of Tees Valley Unlimited, is taking up a new role with the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership.
He said: “I will miss the area and colleagues, and the support TVU has received from the local business community. The new role offers me the opportunity to move back to live with my family once more.”
Mr Catchpole arrived in 2010 from the Wolverhampton Development Agency. Since his appointment Tees Valley has enjoyed a number of notable successes.
They include the creation of the area’s Enterprise Zone which was among the first to be approved by the Government in August 2011.
It was described at the time by Communities and Local Government Minister Eric Pickles as “bold and clever”.
To date, Tees Valley Enterprise Zone has attracted 12 projects which have levered in more than £440m of private sector investment and will generate 317 local jobs.
TVU deputy chairman, councillor Bill Dixon, speaking on behalf of Tees Valley’s five local authorities, said: “Stephen’s time with TVU and the LEP has been highly successful with a substantial amount of investment having been attracted to Tees Valley.
“He will be a difficult act to follow. When you appoint the best other organisations are bound to covet them. But we will recruit an equally strong successor.”
TVU chairman Sandy Anderson said: “Stephen has been a passionate ambassador for Tees Valley. It is thanks to his expertise and energy and his ability to work with a range of organisations that a new economic landscape is taking shape in Tees Valley.
“I and, Tees Valley Unlimited’s Leadership Board, have been proud to work alongside someone whose knowledge, direction and dedication have had such an extensive and positive impact on Tees Valley. Stephen leaves a strong legacy.”
Mr Catchpole said: “I have enormous pride in what TVU and our partners have achieved in my time here and move onto a new position with the confidence that firm foundations are set for ongoing Tees Valley growth and success”.
Mr Catchpole will leave at the end of the year.