Tees Valley Unlimited reveals plans for 25,000 new jobs across region

Stephen Catchpole
Stephen Catchpole

A REGENERATION agency has revealed its plans for 25,000 new jobs in the Tees Valley within 11 years.

Tees Valley Unlimited (TVU), the local enterprise partnership for the area, outlined the proposal on the day it published its annual report.

Its objectives will include building up skilled workforces and campaigning to make sure it has the infrastructure to succeed.

And to make sure all that happens, officials will fight to make sure that Tees Valley’s voice is heard by the country’s decision-makers.

TVU managing director Stephen Catchpole said: “It’s a tough challenge but there is no point in setting easy targets.”

He said the target was achievable, as statistics show 27,500 jobs came to the area between 1996 and 2006 in the years just before the economic recession.

He added: “Twenty five thousand is not unrealistic. It is going to be tough and the biggest difference is that more than 50 per cent of the jobs in the past came from the public sector.

“We want 25,000 jobs and more private sector involvement.”

TVU chiefs have not yet determined how many jobs will be created in each town within the Tees Valley.

But action plans will be drawn up this Autumn to begin attracting employment in key sectors such as health, logistics and advanced manufacturing.

Mr Catchpole added: “You can not underestimate how deep the recession was, but during that downturn I think we have done pretty well.”

TVU’s annual report demonstrates that: “We are continuing to deliver on the commitments that we made to the area, its businesses and residents.

“We intend to build on the achievements outlined in our annual report during the coming years.”

The report shows that TVU has supported more than £630m of investment and 4,000 jobs since April, 2011. Around 160 companies have been supported, and TVU has helped secure £53m from the Regional Growth Fund in rounds four and five to help firms develop.

A ten-year Tees Valley strategic economic plan was drawn up, and so was the Jobs and Investment Scheme which is on course to secure employment for 700 people.

The local enterprise partnership also helped clinch the Tees Valley City Deal which will see the area take more control of its own affairs.

A statement from TVU said: “Next on the agenda is creating 25,000 jobs and £1bn extra gross value added by 2025.”

Gross value added is a way of measuring the value of goods and services which are produced in the area.

TVU chairman, Sandy Anderson, said: “With much valued support from our partners both public and private sector, our annual report reflects a year of strong performance.”