Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen heralded the beginning of a new era of economic development in Tees Valley, as he joined more than 250 regional business and political leaders, and members of the public, to launch the draft Master Plan for the South Tees Development Corporation (STDC) at a special event in Redcar.
The 25-year plan sets out the STDC’s regeneration goals for the area. STDC is the only Mayoral Development Corporation outside of Greater London with significant powers to promote economic regeneration. Launched recently by the Prime Minister, it will look to convert assets in the South Tees area into industrial opportunities for business investment. Once fully developed the vision would see 20,000 jobs created and add an additional £1 billion per annum to the local economy.
The Master Plan consultation will tour Tees Valley with outline diagrams of how the site will be developed. The board has already decided that:
• The site redevelopment will be dedicated to industrial related employment
• The site will be divided into different zones suitable for different types of business and industrial use
• The site will include a coastal community use zone which will protect the natural area that bounds the site and the sea at Redcar
The board has already received around 60 enquiries from around the world and has a number of commercial proposals to evaluate, however the priority is to consult local people about the draft plan and take their comments into consideration as the planning process progresses.
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “This is the single greatest Development opportunity in the UK right now. The vision of the Development Corporation will see the area completely transformed into a hotbed of new industry with sustained economic growth and prosperity for the region.
“Covering more than 4,500 acres and home to the deepest port on the East coast, it has already attracted significant interest from investors across the globe. The opportunity alone stands to create 20,000 new jobs in skilled sectors with good salaries and is heavily focussed on the area’s key priorities in manufacturing and advanced technologies.
“The draft Master Plan isn’t a pie in the sky wish list; we’ve based it all on genuine investor interest.
“Whilst this is a 25-year vision, we are all working flat out with investors and I am confident we will be making some very significant announcements in the next year; it’s a very exciting time for our region.”
Sue Jeffrey, Leader of Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council and Vice Chair of the STDC, added:
“The overnight closure of SSI in October 2015 was devastating for our local communities. We must now look forward and ensure the site is developed to its full potential so that well paid skilled jobs are available for local people. I urge residents and businesses to engage with the consultation exercise and let us know what you think to our plans. This is a huge opportunity for us all.”
Northern Powerhouse Minister Jake Berry said:
“This is a crucial step to stimulate economic growth and regeneration across the Tees Valley. The South Tees Development Corporation is a key part of our plans for the Northern Powerhouse, as we seek to attract investment into Teesside and create quality jobs for local people.
“I recently discussed plans to boost the local economy with business leaders in Teesside and the Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen. I look forward to working with Ben as we make the most of this opportunity to attract new businesses to the area.”
NEPIC chief executive, Iain Wright, commented:
“The regeneration of the old SSI site is the single biggest industrial opportunity in the UK for decades. NEPIC fully supports the South Tees Development Corporation’s vision and ambition, which has the potential to transform the entire local economy, providing substantial numbers of well-paid jobs and modern and innovative manufacturing facilities that could compete with anywhere on earth.
“The purpose of the consultation is to help shape the strategy for the next 25 years. NEPIC members could use the opportunity to be informed about the exciting prospects and influence the consultation to help make the most of those opportunities for their own businesses.
Following the devastating loss of SSI and the vandalism this caused to the local economy and employment base, this is a chance to transform the area and build good jobs and successful businesses. I hope that NEPIC members help shape the future.”
Chaired by the Tees Valley Mayor with an experienced board, the locally-led Mayoral Development Corporation will be accountable to local people for its decisions. To find out more about these exciting plans and to view the full draft Master Plan and visit www.southteesdc.com.