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Ben Houchen was elected as the Conservative Mayor of the Tees Valley in May 2017. The Tees Valley area covers the five boroughs of Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar & Cleveland, and Stockton-on-Tees.

Prior to becoming Mayor, Ben was a Councillor on Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, representing Yarm and Kirklevington Ward. He also led the Council’s opposition Conservative Group. In 2012 he stood as the Conservative parliamentary candidate in the Middlesbrough by-election, and in 2014 stood to become our region’s Member of the European Parliament.

As Mayor, Ben is implementing an ambitious agenda to increase economic growth and prosperity. He wants to create a strong local economy that creates good quality jobs, underpinned by an even stronger private sector. His personal commitments include: saving our Airport; supporting businesses to grow; delivering the housing that the region needs; ensuring an effective structure for Cleveland Police; and securing protected food status for ‘The Parmo’ – a much loved local delicacy.

Ben is Teesside born and bred. A qualified solicitor, he has worked for two local firms specialising in commercial litigation and employment law. In 2016 Ben founded BLK UK – an international sportswear business, which supplies clothing to amateur and professional clubs. As Chief Executive of BLK UK, he delivered an impressive programme of growth and company expansion. Since the election, Ben has stepped down from his position at BLK and is dedicating all of his time to his Mayoral role.   

Ben lives in Yarm with his wife Rachel, a French teacher at a local secondary school.

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As Mayor, Ben represents around 670,000 people across five local council areas. The primary function of the Mayor is to chair the Tees Valley Combined Authority (TVCA) with the role having significant powers and influence over economic development, transport, infrastructure and skills. The Combined Authority is not a ‘super-council’ or another version of Cleveland County Council – the five Tees Valley Councils will continue to exist in their own right delivering local services – however it creates a single voice on key matters, providing greater power and resources for our area.

These include:

Another key role of the Mayor is to serve as an advocate and global ambassador for the Tees Valley region, helping to build trade links and attract inward investment.

Mayor Sees Teesside Skills In Action At Middlesbrough College

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen has visited Middlesbrough College to see first-hand the innovative ways Tees Valley’s young people are upskilling themselves. During his…

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Tees Valley Mayor Engages With Yarm Students

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen visited Yarm School to engage with pupils and give an overview on his work as Mayor. Speaking to pupils…

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Tees Valley Mayor Launches Campaign To Secure Protected Status For Teesside’s World Famous Parmo

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen has launched a campaign to secure Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status for Teesside’s world-famous parmo. His crusade to…

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Tees Valley Mayor Dives Into TWI Training Centre

  Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen dropped in to The Welding Institute (TWI) to see for himself the world-class training and research and development…

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Tees Valley Mayor Visits Leading Railway Heritage and Restoration Project

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen has toured Darlington locomotive works, which has forged a reputation for restoration projects including bringing back to life the…

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Tees Valley Mayor Welcomes Funding To Support Young People

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen has welcomed the announcement that Tees Valley will benefit from a share of £40 million to boost the skills…

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