Mayor Ray Mallon today welcomed the announcement of a new Tees Valley Enterprise Zone - which includes two sites in Middlesbrough.
Encompassing 12 individual sites across the five Tees Valley boroughs, the Enterprise Zone will offer stimulating financial incentives to help attract real investment and growth and deliver significant job opportunities by 2015 and beyond.
In Middlesbrough the sites covered by the zone are the South West Iron Masters site and Middlehaven.
Middlesbrough Mayor Ray Mallon said: “Confirmation of the Enterprise Zone is excellent news for the area as a whole and will help to attract much needed investment.
“These innovative proposals will help to build on the area’s economic strengths and give a much needed boost to the private sector at a time when the public sector is facing major cuts.
“This Enterprise Zone will stand Teesside and the wider area in good stead for many years to come.”
Tees Valley Unlimited’s Chairman, Sandy Anderson said: “This is just the outcome we wanted.
“In laying the foundations for the long-term transformation of the region, approval of the Enterprise Zone is another significant tool to help us achieve our goals.”
Businesses locating on South West Iron Masters, Queen’s Meadow and Kirkleatham and Belasis Hall Technology Park before March 2015, will benefit from business rate discount worth up to £55,000 per business for five years.
The sites will have the advantage of simplified planning regimes to help attract and support the growth and development of small and medium enterprises.
These are the businesses which are fundamental in growing the supply chain for Tees Valley’s petro-chemical, renewable energy, advanced engineering and digital industries.
Income secured from the Government for these four sites will enable the provision of identical financial incentives at Oakesway, Northshore, Darlington Central Park and Middlehaven.
This will help ensure both an immediate opportunity for the sub-region and provide a building block for long-term growth as Tees Valley Unlimited looks to invest locally and drive forward the economy over the next 25 years.
The Tees Valley is one of only a small number of areas across the country which can now additionally offer large-scale occupiers enhanced capital allowances against the cost of their plant and machinery.
Four sites at Wilton and PD Ports/South Bank Wharf both in Redcar and Cleveland, Port Estates in Hartlepool and the New Energy and Tech Park in Billingham can apply the benefit for capital investments made by March 2015.
Sites put forward in the original strategy for the TIF (or Tax Increment Finance) scheme to fund infrastructure and site preparation are part of the long term vision and can be subsequently funded either by the income generated by the Enterprise Zone or by local prudent borrowing.
Tees Valley Unlimited Managing Director, Stephen Catchpole said: “TVU, our partners and stakeholders have received strong commendation for the long-term plan that we presented as it demonstrated an appreciation of our industrial heritage and identified sectors in which we can and should be growing including the new and exciting digital sector.
“The Government’s priority is to achieve delivery within a shorter timescale up to 2015 and therefore we have worked together to agree a plan that will both achieve results and give us the foundation on which to build our long-term transformation of the Tees Valley.
“I am delighted with today’s announcement and should like to pay tribute particularly to our local authority partners and the business representative organisations, whose effort and support have secured this achievement.
“I believe the Tees Valley Enterprise Zone will be a great success and look forward to the hard work ahead to ensure its delivery.”
James Ramsbotham, Chief Executive North East Chamber of Commerce said: “Tees Valley Unlimited should be commended for presenting a bold and challenging proposal to Government, much of which has now been accepted in today’s announcement.
“Businesses in the Tees Valley require a sophisticated package of support to promote investment and it’s welcome that this has been acknowledged.”