Prominent business leaders have united to back a campaign aimed at promoting Tees Valley as a place to do business.
Live Work Play in Tees Valley, which launches today (Tuesday 5th July) at the Tees Valley Business Summit at Teesside University in Middlesbrough, will highlight what Tees Valley offers companies already based here and those considering starting up, expanding or relocating to the area.
Tees Valley has a rich industrial history but the changing landscape has seen the area adapt and grow in a range of other sectors such as digital and creative, low carbon technology, logistics, advanced manufacturing and engineering.
Across many sectors Tees Valley is at the forefront; constructing offshore wind projects in the North Sea; pioneering new feedstock technologies; developing a cluster of biofuel plants; leading on carbon capture technology; delivering world class engineering; supporting business with technology enabled business process outsourcing; and building on world-class businesses.
Live Work Play aims to build on this local pride, showcasing the potential opportunities available within the thriving business community while highlighting the benefits of living in Tees Valley and the leisure and cultural facilities on offer.
It comes as a recent survey of more than 330 businesses across the Tees Valley shows increased expectations of future growth and a desire to attract a skilled workforce to the area1.
The survey found:
- 75% of Tees Valley businesses rate the Tees Valley as a very positive or positive place to do business
- 82% of Tees Valley businesses expect turnover to grow over the next year (over 30% will be investing in exporting over the next 12 months).
- 65% of Tees Valley businesses expect their number of employees to grow over the next year, with 71% of employers investing or considering investing in training.
- 60% of Tees Valley businesses have engaged with schools or colleges over the past year and 42% of Tees Valley employers have taken on an apprentice over the last 12 months and are very satisfied with their performance.
The campaign – which is a close collaboration between Tees Valley Combined Authority, Tees Valley Unlimited, and the five local authorities – has been backed by the North East Chamber of Commerce (NECC) and has gained support from Tees Valley firms such as Nifco, Mobile Mini as well as smaller independent businesses such as Ye Olde Young Tea House in Middlesbrough.
Dave Budd, Mayor of Middlesbrough and Chair of Tees Valley Combined Authority, said: “It’s such an exciting time for Tees Valley and we know that people living and working here already are proud of the area. We also know that in the business community will support our campaign to help showcase our area to a wider audience.”
Paul Booth, Chair of Tees Valley Unlimited, said: “Tees Valley is a vibrant place for both people and businesses. We want to shine the spotlight on this wonderful area and reignite pride and passion in everything that we have to offer.
“We’re already leading the way in major industries and are building a reputation nationally as a dynamic and innovative area. We’re making great strides but we want to go further; we want to see more businesses make the Tees Valley its home so we can continue to grow and compete with other areas across the UK.”
Tom Warnock from the North East Chamber of Commerce (NECC), said: “The Tees Valley is an integral part of the North East, and it’s home to thousands of businesses excelling in their sector. Whether it’s petrochemical, fabrication, games design or biotech, there’s a diverse range of businesses who chose to base themselves here.
The work ethic, low energy costs, ease of transport, and the variety of leisure pursuits on offer, close proximity to coast and countryside, are just some reasons businesses tell us about what they love about Tees Valley. North East England Chamber of Commerce fully supports the message behind the Live Work Play campaign, because we see living examples every day of what makes it so great to be part of this area.”
With three in four Tees Valley businesses rating the Tees Valley as a positive place to do business in a recent survey, local firms have been quick to lend their support to Live Work Play.
Erika Marshall, Marketing and Communications Manager for car parts manufacturer Nifco UK Ltd, said: “We’re not very good at talking ourselves up and we really do have a lot to shout about. I’m backing this campaign because we think it’s important for the Tees Valley to sing its praises. We need to create that trigger that ensures anyone that is considering setting up a new business or relocating or growing their business, considers Tees Valley.”
Chris Morgan, Managing Director at Mobile Mini, a Stockton-based leading hirer of site accommodation and storage containers, said: “I think the area can suffer from misperceptions sometimes, particularly from those that live outside the area and have never visited before. However, once people have visited the area overall I think that they are pleasantly surprised with what the area has to offer for both business and pleasure.
“Housing is more affordable and you get more for your money. Countryside, coastline and vibrant towns and cities are all on the doorstep. The people here are really friendly and there is a real sense of community and resilience in business.”
Carli McNaught, owner of The Olde Young Tea House in Middlesbrough, said: “Recently, Tees Valley has had much more positive press than we did about 5 years ago. For example, when the Redcar SSI steelworks was closed down in 2015 it was a huge loss but the town really came together in support of one another. Also, we have Middlesbrough Football Club who have been promoted to the Premier League which is such a positive for the area. At end the end of the day, it’s about uniting together for the better.”
Colin Fyfe, Chief Executive of Darlington Building Society, said: “We have enjoyed being part of Darlington and the Tees Valley for 160 years and the spirit in this area continues to be strong. The campaign allows us to highlight all the great benefits of living and working here and will help to ensure that the Tees Valley is not the “best kept secret” of the North. Darlington Building Society will continue to be a passionate advocate for the Tees Valley and help the people thrive.”