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The South Tees Development Corporation is the first Mayoral Development Corporation outside of London. It has been set up to promote the economic growth and commercial development of Tees Valley by converting assets in the South Tees area into opportunities for business investment and economic growth.

The STDC area covers approximately 4,500 acres of land to the south of the River Tees, in the Borough of Redcar and Cleveland, and includes former SSI steelworks site as well as other industrial assets. The area benefits from river access and includes the deep-water port of Teesport, England’s largest exporting port.

The vision for the 4,500-acre Development Corporation area, which includes the site of the former SSI steelworks, is for it to become a hotbed of industry for sectors including clean energy and offshore that will create 20,000 good-quality, well-paid jobs for local people and add £1billion per year into the local economy over 25 years.

In February 2020, Mayor Houchen and representatives of SSI reached a landmark deal that resulted in the 840 acres of land owned by SSI UK, along with all other assets on the site, acquired by and transferred to the South Tees Development Corporation.

As part of the agreement SSI confirmed they would not fight the Compulsory Purchase Order, in effect pulling out of the CPO process, which Mayor Houchen instigated in a bid to take back control of site. It was confirmed that Mayor Houchen and the Development Corporation had won the CPO in April 2020.

This followed the deal Mayor Houchen secured with Tata in January 2019 to transfer 1,420 acres, an area almost the size of Gibraltar and more than half of the developable land at the former Redcar Steelworks, to the Development Corporation.

The overwhelming majority of land at the former steelworks site is now under the control of the South Tees Development Corporation.

Now that an agreement has been agreed, the door is open for Mayor Houchen to secure the investment into the site, so that regeneration can begin and good quality, well paid jobs created. Land preparation work has already begun, and plans have been submitted for a new world class manufacturing zone, creating 1,000 construction jobs and then 9,000 permanent jobs.

In July, Mayor Houchen unveiled the new Teesworks brand for the site, developed with Middlesbrough-based Better brand agency, to appeal to both international investors and workers in the Tees Valley.