Culture & Tourism

The arts, culture, tourism and leisure are critical in shaping the quality of the Tees Valley offer and making it an attractive place to Invest, Work, Live, Visit.

Culture particularly plays a unique role in creating places that attract and retain talent, businesses and business leaders, while maximising the use of arts, cultural, heritage, rural and natural assets can attract more, higher spending visitors. Culture shapes the quality of a place, influencing perceptions and making a place more attractive to people to live, work and study. Our museums, collections, theatres, art galleries, libraries, music and other cultural and heritage assets, such as our coastline, countryside and natural assets, draw visitors to Tees Valley and help recruit staff.

Tees Valley is home to some of the country’s leading cultural organisations and practitioners, transforming expectations about the role that culture plays in securing economic and social wellbeing. We will build on these strengths to grow capacity in the region, creating an attractive, supportive and stimulating environment which allows us to attract and retain more cultural practitioners, strengthen skills and maximise the impacts of great work, ensuring all those who live and work in Tees Valley benefit from a thriving and creative environment.

In 2021 Tees Valley will bid to become UK City of Culture in 2025, cementing its position as an ambitious hub of culture and creativity in the North East.

Tees Valley’s tourism industry is a quiet achiever in the local economy. As a region we currently attract as many day visitors as Newcastle and Gateshead, but without a destination marketing service in place for a number of years, Tees Valley’s overnight stays and profile as a visitor destination has suffered.

In 2018, we launched Enjoy Tees Valley – a dedicated destination marketing service, website and brand. The establishment of a destination marketing service for the Tees Valley will increase visitor expenditure in the region by attracting new visitors and increasing the length of stay of existing visitors. This will ultimately support business growth in the tourism industry, creating jobs and supporting the wider Tees Valley economy.