A recruitment boss believes the feel good factor is back in the Teesside business world after the latest meeting of a strategy group.
The Middlesbrough committee of the North East Chamber of Commerce met at the NECC’s Teesside base in Exchange Square earlier this month, and Jo Hand – who chaired the meeting – said there was a buoyant mood amongst the 16 businesses who were in attendance.
Jo, who runs Jo Hand Recruitment, said: “I’ve been coming to these meetings for over a year now, and I can honestly say that the mood has never been so positive.
“Everyone really was buzzing, and it is clear that things have picked up dramatically in the last few months.
“In the past we have had a lot of negativity. People were struggling, they were fighting to get business in order to stay afloat.
“It wasn’t just in one sector either, we had representatives from finance, recruitment, the local authority, education and law firms among others.
“It has been a difficult time over the last couple of years, but now there is so much going on within the Middlesbrough area in terms of redevelopment and investment.”
Jo hopes the positivity will continue in the months ahead, but admits she can’t pinpoint an exact reason behind the mood swing.
“I don’t think it’s a case of something just clicking all of a sudden,” she added.
“Middlesbrough has had to fight off an unfair reputation, but there has always been that fire in the belly of the business community.
“Maybe it’s a case of people capitalising on the fact the economy is thriving again.
“People are spending money, and by doing that it is having a knock-on effect throughout the supply chain.”
The wave of optimism sweeping through the NECC comes on the back of recent news that the Tees Valley Local Enterprise Partnership has agreed an expansion to its Growth Deal with the Government which will see an extra £13.9m invested in Tees Valley between 2016 and 2021.
This is in addition to the £90.3m of funding committed by the Government in July 2014.
Over the lifetime of its Deal (2015-2021) the Local Enterprise Partnership estimates that up to 5,000 new jobs could be created, safeguarded or enabled, 1,500 new homes built and that it has the potential to generate £150m public and private investment.