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Mayor’s Message – March 2023

You might be looking at this email thinking “March has gone quickly!”, but there’s a good reason I’m sharing this month’s news now, rather than on the 31st.

With the region’s local elections taking place on May 4 we are about to enter the pre-election period – which brings with it some rules on what we, as an organisation, can send out.

I won’t bore you with the details, but as you’ll see below just because we’re halfway through the month doesn’t mean we’re not making great headway. Planning approval has been granted for a new Park & Ride at Teesworks, key to getting thousands of new workers on site, and on Willis Aviation’s £25m new aircraft maintenance facility at Teesside Airport that’ll deliver 250 good-quality engineering jobs.

Whilst we’re on the topic of the airport, I want to take another opportunity to correct the reports you’ll no doubt have seen in the papers. Despite what others have said, Teesside is the UK’s first airport in being able to ditch rules on 100ml liquids in hand luggage.

I also launched a huge new programme – Trees on Tees – which every single person can get involved with, to help us plant one million trees across the area over the next few years. I’d encourage everyone reading this to sign up and, whether in a personal capacity or as a leader of business, schools or any other organisation, get planting.

We also saw some great news for Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool in this week’s Spring Budget. A Teesside Investment Zone is back on the agenda, supported with up to £80million of funding to helping us cut red tape and turbocharge our plans to unlock investment opportunities. On top of that, £20m has been secured to transform Eston Square and deliver a new swimming pool at Eston Baths, something I know many have been wanting to see for a while.

A total of £20billion is to be invested into Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage technologies, with this cash playing a huge role in helping progress some incredible local projects like Net Zero Teesside, a £3bn project bringing thousands of jobs to Teesside. A further £8.8billion is going to be unlocked for sustainable transport across the UK, after we were successful in securing £310million last year.