Plans to drive growth, create jobs and secure the economic future of Tees Valley has taken a major step as local leaders decided to transform the former SSI steelworks site.
Former Deputy Prime Minister Lord Heseltine revealed plans would go full-steam ahead for a new Mayoral Development Corporation – the first of its kind outside of London – to drive forward regeneration and local economic growth in the Tees Valley area.
Work will start immediately to form the corporation. This will offer a vehicle for greater powers to be devolved, in areas including regeneration planning and business support.
These powers will be available at the new Mayor’s disposal so the area can quickly take up economic opportunities as they arise.
Since the closure of SSI in October, the government has put in place a multi-million pound package of support for the affected local community.
Lord Heseltine has been tasked with encouraging investment to create new job opportunities across the Tees Valley.
Local business leaders say the investment will play a role in the return of economic vibrancy to the area – something the new corporation will look to deliver by securing investment from the UK and overseas to bring in new jobs and businesses.
Communities Secretary Greg Clark said: “Already, up to £80 million government funding is in place to ensure former SSI workers and local affected businesses get the support they need.
“This new Mayoral Development Corporation is the next step, putting local people who know the area best at the heart of driving regeneration and delivering new businesses and jobs for the community.”
The government’s package of up to £80 million support for the Tees Valley includes:
a £16.5 million Jobs and Skills Fund to help local firms employ former SSI workers or their spouses in full-time or part-time jobs for a minimum of 3 years
£16 million support for firms in the SSI supply chain and wider Tees Valley impacted by the closure
£1.7 million to help the 50 former SSI apprentices to continue their apprenticeships with alternative employers – all of whom are now continuing their training and are being paid