Economic summit highlights progress of regeneration

Commercial Photography

An economic summit highlighted the developments made thanks to Redcar & Cleveland’s regeneration master plan.

The event, which brought together business leaders from across the borough, discussed how the council supports businesses in the borough presently and what steps are being taken in the future.

Identified as the biggest issue over the next few years is combating the levels of youth unemployment and the hope is that the numerous employers present at the event – as well as the recently launched foundation for jobs – will create opportunities for school and college leavers.

One business that could soon be recruiting more young people is Guardian Marine Testing (GMT) based at the Wilton Centre.

GMT, which tests fuel used in the shipping industry, reported a turn over last year of £7.45m after only seven years in operation and is undergoing rapid growth.

Managing Director Andrew Shaw, who was the keynote speaker at the summit, said: “We currently employee 40 staff, two part time workers and one apprentice.

“At the rate we are growing – 10% per annum – not only will we need to start recruiting more staff we will also need to expand our operation within the Wilton Centre and acquire more lab space to keep up with the demand.

“Thankfully, they have been very supportive of us so far and the centre itself has helped us win business thanks to the good transport connections and the impressive first impressions it gives to our potential clients.”

Councillor Mark Hannon, cabinet member for economic development at Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council, praised the steps being taken in the 15 year regeneration master plan past, present and future.

Cllr Hannon said: “When we came into power in 2007 we decided that the direction of the council should be regeneration and that is why we published a master plan in order to realise the potential we have in the borough.

“The work already completed has seen a lot of investment come into the borough and that not only benefits the business sector but also the wider population thanks to lower unemployment levels and money spent in the local economy.”

If any businesses want more information on the support they can receive, contact the enterprise and business growth team on contactus@redcar-cleveland.gov.uk or by telephoning 01642 444351.

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