Ben Houchen was elected as the first Mayor of Tees Valley in May 2017. 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 Group. In 2012 he stood as the parliamentary candidate in the Middlesbrough by-election, and in 2014 stood to become our region’s Member of the European Parliament.
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. When elected Ben stepped down from his position at BLK to dedicate all of his time to his Mayoral role.
Ben lives in Yarm with his wife Rachel, a French teacher at a local secondary school.