The members of two new boards set to drive regeneration in Hartlepool and Middlesbrough town centres have been revealed today (28 October).
Just last week Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen wrote to the then Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Simon Clarke MP, to formally designate the Hartlepool and Middlesbrough Development Corporations.
Now Mayor Houchen has appointed the boards, which he will chair, with the make-up officially agreed at today’s Combined Authority Cabinet. They include representatives from the public and private sectors plus Hartlepool Borough Council leader Shane Moore and Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston on their respective boards – all acting in a personal capacity.
Hartlepool’s board will include Learning Curve Group’s CEO Brenda McLeish OBE; the Commercial Director of construction firm Strabag Lisa Molloy; Orangebox Training Solutions CEO Simon Corbett and HMB Accountants Director Sarah Bedford.
Middlesbrough’s membership is made up of former Sabic Petrochemicals UK and Tees Valley LEP Chair Paul Booth CBE; BME Network CIC Director of Operations Idrees Rashid and Middlesbrough’s Deputy Mayor Mieka Smiles.
Cleveland Police’s Crime Commissioner Steve Turner will sit on both boards as a full member, joined by Cleveland Police Chief Constable Mark Webster and Combined Authority Chief Executive Julie Gilhespie as associate members. Hartlepool Borough Council Managing Director Denise McGuckin and Middlesbrough Council Chief Executive Tony Parkinson are also associate members on their town’s boards.
The boards will meet quarterly, first in shadow form and then officially once the Mayoral Development Corporations are formally established in legislation. They will be tasked with helping achieve the aims of transforming and improving the centres, attracting further private-sector investment and boosting economic regeneration. Separate Audit and Governance Committees will also be established alongside the new boards.
A total of £20million in funding has been committed by the Tees Valley Mayor and Combined Authority to drive the projects forward, with the Development Corporations expected to be up and running by the end of the year.
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “We’ve spent a lot of time and thought to appoint people from a range of backgrounds but who all have the vision, ambition and experience necessary to make these schemes huge successes and truly deliver on the huge opportunity we have.
“With these boards in place, when the designations are approved by Government, we can hit the ground running and waste no time in bringing about the improvements that local people deserve – breathing new life into our centres, making our streets safer and cleaner and attracting new businesses.
“This is an incredibly exciting time for the region and I look forward to working with everyone on both boards to ensure a bright future for our area.”
Cllr Shane Moore, leader of Hartlepool Borough Council, said: “I’m delighted to be working with so many prominent people who have helped put Hartlepool on the map and will continue to do so.
“Now they can play an even bigger part in shaping the future of the town and making massive positive change once we’ve secured Development Corporation status.”
Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston said: “Our board has a wealth of fantastic local talent that will help us go even further in transforming Middlesbrough for the future.
“We’ve come a long way recently and current projects like Middlesbrough Station show we’re not slowing down. Our Development Corporation, driven by those who are the most passionate about Boro, will truly do great things for the town.”