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The proposal to establish a Mayoral Development Corporation on the South Tees industrial site has been formally approved by the new Tees Valley Mayor, and unanimously by the Combined Authority Cabinet.

Yesterday (13th June) Tees Valley Combined Authority Cabinet agreed to seek parliamentary approval to establish the South Tees Development Corporation, which will be tasked with driving growth and investment, creating jobs and supporting communities, including those hit by the closure of the Redcar Steelworks.

The proposal, which originated in the Tees Valley Devolution Deal, uses new legislation under which the Tees Valley has been given the power to create locally-accountable Mayoral Development Corporations, able to accelerate economic growth by supporting the regeneration of key sites.

The Tees Valley is the first area outside Greater London to benefit from these powers.

Ben Houchen, Tees Valley Mayor, has now formally proposed the creation of the new Corporation, which has been operating in shadow form. Parliament will now be asked to approve an Order, leading to the South Tees Development Corporation being established with new statutory powers this summer.

The Development Corporation’s powers will include having responsibility for infrastructure, attracting new businesses, support for inward investment, and co-ordinating land ownership; including the use of compulsory purchase powers. It will oversee an area of 4,500 acres, which includes the site of the former SSI steelworks in Redcar, and access to one of the UK’s largest deep water ports.

Presenting the proposals to Ministers, Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said:

“The South Tees site is an area of great opportunity. It has excellent access to infrastructure, good transport connections, and a catchment area with an exceptional skilled workforce. It benefits from access to Teesport, one of the UK’s largest deep water ports, and thereby creates new opportunities to access international markets. The site provides a unique environment for industrial use, with land particularly suitable for new investment in the process and energy sectors, and a wide range of other global business sectors. The world’s largest dedicated biomass energy plant, MGT Teesside, is being constructed on the site and the area will provide access to export for the world’s largest Polyhalite Mine, accessed from a 23 mile tunnel to the Sirius Minerals mine in North Yorkshire. British Steel has made a strong commitment to the site, and there are real prospects of securing the UK’s first new steel industry investments for many decades. These projects, and many more in our inward investment pipeline, demonstrate the level of ambition for our area”.