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19.02.16

Mayoral Development Corporation launched to revitalise Tees Valley

Revitalisation plans for the Tees Valley following the closure of its steelworks will involve £80m funding and a new Mayoral Development Commission, the government announced.

Former deputy prime minister Lord Heseltine visited PD Ports at Teesport today and said ministers and local partners would immediately start appointing members of the corporation.

The aim of the new body is to encourage economic growth and regeneration in the valley and transforming the former SSI steelworks site, which closed in October with the loss of 2,200 jobs. The government added it could lead to greater devolution of powers, including regeneration planning and business support, in addition to the powers already devolved to the North East and Tees Valley authorities last year.

Lord Heseltine said: “Under dynamic leadership the new Mayoral Development Corporation will provide the strategic vision to make that happen and give investors from the UK and abroad the confidence to put down roots in the Tees Valley for years to come.”

The government has promised £80m support to the Tees Valley, including a £16.5m jobs and skills fund to help find short-term employment for former SSI employers or their spouses, £16m support for other firms impacted by the closure, and £1.7m to help 50 former SSI apprentices continue their training with new employers.

Cllr Sue Jeffrey, chair of the Tees Valley shadow Combined Authority, said: “I welcome this agreement and confirmation that government is to take responsibility for the SSI site and establish an intermediate body to ensure safety and security in the short-term. But it is the long-term regeneration of the area that is my main focus.

“This announcement includes proposals to fast-track the Mayoral Development Corporation agreed in our devolution deal and this is a positive step forward. This can’t be just about new structures and boards – we will work with government to secure the necessary powers and funding to create a viable future for the area as a whole.”

(Image c. Mick Garratt)

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