Time to seal deal

Stephen Catchpole
Stephen Catchpole

REGENERATION experts are days away from the next stage of their bid to bring a job-boosting deal to Tees Valley.

Tees Valley Unlimited will present the first draft of its City Deal proposal to Government next month. Officials have been invited to meet with the Minister for Cities Greg Clark on November 17.

TVU managing director Stephen Catchpole said this was Tees Valley’s opportunity to “establish the support needed to attract greater investment, create new jobs and encourage local economic growth.”

He added: “Since we were invited to bid for a City Deal at the beginning of the year, we have been working with our local authority and private sector partners to develop a blueprint that we believe will give us greater autonomy in realising our ambitions for the area.”

The deal could see 27,000 jobs protected or created in the area in the next nine years.

Mr Catchpole added: “A Tees Valley City Deal will help create a direct and long term relationship with Government and cement a strong understanding by policy makers as to our objectives and the means needed to achieve them.”

The proposal asks for Government assistance in certainty on planning and financial incentives for companies looking to invest in the area.

It also asks for greater flexibility in the allocation of funds to support learners and the unemployed.

Mr Catchpole said he hoped the innovative plans would prove to be attractive to the Government.

He said the performance of TVU itself reflected the excellent relationships between the area’s local authorities and the public and private sector working together.

“We would look to ensure that any City Deal with Government built upon those existing strengths and opportunities,” said Mr Catchpole.

“We believe a successful City Deal will give Tees Valley a strong standing both now and in the long-term and that it will not only benefit us locally, but also the country nationally as we enhance our ability to compete more effectively on a global level.”

The deal could mean the Tees valley becoming a prime location for carbon capture with “super sectors” for firms in petrochemicals, advanced manufacturing, and new renewable energy.