Lord Heseltine reveals 90-page Tees masterplan

Lord Michael Heseltine

Lord Heseltine has outlined what he thinks Teesside needs to succeed in a 90-page document.

The former deputy Prime Minister revealed the masterplan at an event attended by Boro chairman Steve Gibson, at Middlesbrough FC’s Riverside Stadium this week.

Lord Heseltine – pictured (above, right) with Northern Powerhouse Minister James Wharton during an earlier visit to Teesside) – has revealed an ambitious wish-list for our region, including a new Tees road crossing and better rail links to Middlesbrough and Darlington.

But his report has been met with mixed reviews – click here to read our exclusive feature on what the Teesside business leaders are saying about it.

In his report, Lord Heseltine said: “Within the deal that has been done with Tees Valley (combined authority) there is an additional £15m a year, there are other funds as well. The money of course is always scarce, but what is much more important is how you use it.

“There is already public money which is flowing through the normal programmes. The issue is whether you can use the money more effectively. And the issue is whether you can get the private sector to add to what the public sector can afford.

“A quite obvious example would be if the public sector build a road, does it lead to a piece of land that the private sector could build something?”

Gibson was supportive of the report, saying: “Not everything in this report people are going to agree with. There are some things that are quite controversial.

“We do know the problems here. That’s the big thing, identifying the problems and not being afraid to identify them or brushing them away.

“We have got to face up to problems, understand them and solve them. But we all need to get behind this, understand it, debate it and improve it.

“That is a negativity that can be resolved and has to be resolved. But there is so much good going on here.

“The fact that the Government is behind Lord Heseltine, we have James Wharton, the minister for the Northern Powerhouse, who is working incredibly hard and (Government minister) Greg Clark who is from South Bank actually.

“We have people in power who are loyal to this area, and favour this area, and here in Middlesbrough we have a very hard working MP and a very good MP in Andy McDonald. We have the political leaders here.

“I think that the way we’re set up now is that I’m delighted with devolution. We have moved the decision making away from London and the Thames to the Tees.

“Local people can really determine our future. For too long we have been reliant on dominant industries, huge people employers.”

Click here to read exclusive Tees Business reaction to Lord Heseltine’s report.


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