Northern Powerhouse Minister praises TVU for strong performance

left to right: Sandy Anderson, Chairman of Tees Valley Unlimited, Mike Matthews, North East Chamber of Commerce President, Alison Thain, CBI North East Chair, Ted Salmon, North East Chair of Federation of Smalls Businesses and Graham Robb, Institute of Directors North East Chairman, launch the Tees Valley Unlimited Annual Report from the top of the Redcar Beacon.

The strong performance by Tees Valley Unlimited, the Local Enterprise Partnership for Tees Valley, has been praised by the Northern Powerhouse Minister James Wharton.

Mr Wharton’s endorsement of TVU’s work during the last 12 months came as the LEP unveiled its annual report, which also has been backed by the region’s top business leaders.

Mr Wharton said: “Our local economy is showing real signs of recovery. Unemployment is falling, investment is up and the Tees Valley LEP has played its part in securing those positive trends. We should be proud of our progress, but never complacent about our future.”

Sandy Anderson, TVU Chairman, said: “That TVU has been able to make such a significant contribution to the economic development of the Tees Valley is due in no small part to very effective partnership working. This is reflected in the support the Annual Report has received from the Northern Powerhouse Minister and some of the North’s principal business leaders.
“While much has been achieved it is important that we continue to build on our acknowledged strengths in manufacturing and engineering and to take the opportunities to grow and diversify the area’s industrial and wider business sectors.”

The Annual Report focuses on the period April 2014 to March 2015 and highlights that:

3,836 jobs were secured
There was £702million supported investment
The Tees Valley Jobs and Skills Investment Scheme assisted more than 300 companies leading to the creation of 755 jobs
Construction was started on the £38 million National Biologics Manufacturing Centre
The £9.5million Material Processing Institute, which it is estimated will provide £191million increased GVA to the Tees Valley economy during the next 20 years, was established
The Business Compass Growth Hub was launched
Teesside Collective helped the area take a global lead on Industrial Carbon Capture and Storage
There was a £189million growth in GVA

In 2014/15 TVU responded to more than 30 Government and Parliamentary consultations, across a range of themes affecting Tees Valley priorities, to ensure the area’s voice was heard in Whitehall. This included the better promotion of Research and Development Tax Credits for small businesses; the Northern and TransPennine Express Rail franchises; and successfully applying to become a member of the Key Cities group.

Its future priorities include sector development and diversification; supported growth through innovation; improving transport infrastructure, and developing the workforce with TVU setting a target of creating 25,000 during the next ten years.

Alison Thain, North East Chair of the CBI, said: “The annual report is testament to how, by collaborating with a range of organisations, Tees Valley is driving growth, attracting new companies, generating employment, improving the area’s infrastructure for the good of business and helping improve the skills of existing and future generations of workers.”

Mike Matthews, President of the North East Chamber of Commerce, said: “TVU has a strong track record of working in partnership with both the private and public sectors, which is what business wants to see. Its achievements during the last year stand the area in good stead as more powers are moved away from London to the regions.”

Graham Robb, North East Chairman of the Institute of Directors, said: “TVU was one of the first LEPs to be established, and this annual report demonstrates how it is maintaining its momentum and making a tangible, positive impact on the area’s economy.
“Its achievements prove it has the ability to embrace and capitalise on the opportunities that will emerge as the Government pushes its devolution agenda forward.”

Ted Salmon, North East Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “TVU’s bold and ambitious approach to driving and supporting initiatives that create jobs and investment in the Tees Valley economy underlines the value of localism with local partners working together in pursuit of common goals.”

The annual report will be available at the Tees Valley Business Summit on July 8 in the Olympia Building at Teesside University or alternatively click here.