Mayor Ben Houchen has visited two very different companies with one thing in common – they are helping spread the Tees Valley name across the world.
Family-run Hartlepool Marine Supplies has been established for 35 years, supplying everything from mast-top antennae to fibreglass hulls for the commercial shipping, offshore and leisure boating sectors, including projects for an Italian company on the Delaware river in the USA.
As well as carrying out work as far afield as New Zealand, a supply of the company’s heating system is currently on its way to South Orkney Islands, just under 400 miles off the north-east tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, for the British Antarctica Survey where the Polar research surveys try to predict future climate changes.
In a second trip to Orangebox Training, Mayor Houchen learnt the organisation had secured a partnership with a recruitment company who have acquired the Amazon contract for its new Darlington fulfilment centre.
Founded by former policeman Simon Corbett three-and-a-half years ago, it now provides business training courses in the UK and United Arab Emirates and has delivered training courses as far afield as the US and New Zealand. Its global expansion has been supported by £4,708 of European Regional Development Fund grants via Tees Valley Business Compass.
Mayor Houchen said: “I first visited Orangebox Training just over a year ago, and I was impressed with how quickly it had established itself globally. In the past year, it has introduced even more training courses and is going further than ever to support people in the Tees Valley and abroad.
“It is also really exciting for it to be able to offer employment opportunities to people in the Tees Valley for such a huge global company such as Amazon.
“Hartlepool Marine Supplies is another brilliant example of our local businesses succeeding and growing. It has been operating for decades and it’s still taking every opportunity to diversify, take advantage of new developments in the marine sector and go from strength to strength.
“In a post-Brexit world, we need to be as outward looking as possible and grab opportunities across the globe. Both Orangebox and Hartlepool Marine are doing just that.”
Hartlepool Marine Supplies’ Cedric Williams said: “As Hartlepool’s longest established marine business we were pleased to welcome Mayor Houchen, who showed a very genuine interest in both our town’s long maritime history and our Hartlepool born and bred Williams family’s 90 years of marine history.
“Our success has always been by offering an efficient and friendly service of marine supplies and engineering to all the UK industry plus many customers abroad. We also supply a quality selection of nautical corporate gifts.”
Glen Hughes, Design and Marketing Manager at Orangebox Training, said: “When we welcomed the Mayor a year ago, we were close to hitting the milestone of steering around 10,000 people through our courses.
“Since then, our small team of around ten full-time staff and 20 freelance trainers has helped even more people, and we’ve deepened our links with local businesses and colleges such as Utility Alliance.
“Ben was extremely impressed with how much we have grown over the past 12 months and spoke positively about how Orangebox fit perfectly into the vision of the Tees Valley.”