Steve Gibson described plans to transform Middlesbrough via a near-£700 million of investments as “very bold and brave” as the town’s council launched its Investment Prospectus at the Riverside Stadium on Monday.
The strategy – spearheaded by Elected Mayor Dave Budd and Middlesbrough Council Chief Executive Tony Parkinson – will see the town transformed through investments totalling almost £700 million.
Over the next four years the Council is committed to an injection of £74 million into a series of exciting developments as part of the town’s far-reaching Investment Prospectus.
This confidence in Middlesbrough’s growing stature as the city heart of the Tees Valley will act as a catalyst for the creation of 5,000 new jobs in the town, in tandem with more than £600 million of inward investment from the private sector and other parts of the public sector.
Speaking at the event, Middlesbrough FC Chairman Gibson, who also runs Bulkhaul, said: “In the past we’ve seen the town’s council being very risk-averse but this is a real change in culture.”
Plans to shape the town’s future as the economic, cultural and leisure heart of the region were first unveiled at the end of 2016, but the Riverside event saw the strategy formally launched to key stakeholders, business leaders and opinion formers.
Mr Parkinson and Mayor Budd were joined by guest speakers Paul Swinney of leading think tank the Centre for Cities and developer Mark Ashall.
Mr Parkinson said: “Over the last few years this Council has helped facilitate a transformational regeneration programme that has delivered a purpose-built Sports Village, a world-class university campus, the restoration of Acklam Hall, Teesside Advanced Manufacturing Park, numerous town centre developments and one of the most ambitious house building programmes in its history.
“But our ambitions are not limited to what has already been achieved – the focus of the Investment Prospectus is firmly on the next phase of regeneration, enterprise and job creation.
“We have a proven track record as a forward-thinking, strategic facilitator for the area, and that is already giving major investors the confidence that they will find the support they need to thrive and grow their businesses in the economic heart of a vibrant Tees Valley city environment.
“Middlesbrough is well and truly open for business, and we and our partners are looking the future with considerable confidence and optimism.”
Developments featured in the Investment Prospectus include a £30 million snow centre at Middlehaven, a 450-bed student village linked to Teesside University, a brand new Media and Innovation Village and Grade A town centre office space.
New regeneration will transform more than 57 hectares of land, with the development of an estimated 1.7 million sq ft of new business accommodation.
Mayor Budd added: “Middlesbrough has embarked on an important new era which will draw on its rich heritage and drive it forward as a beacon of 21st Century ambition and prosperity.
“This Investment Prospectus clearly lays out the priorities which will enable us to become a major destination for visitors and investors alike.
“Over the coming months and years, we will attract cutting edge enterprise, accelerate forward-thinking regeneration and deliver the services a modern city demands.
“Above all these are realistic and deliverable transformations – many of them already well in train – and they will underpin Middlesbrough’s long-term future as the vibrant heart of the Tees Valley City Region.”
The event also saw the official launch of the new Invest Middlesbrough website which will act as a ‘one-stop shop’ for entrepreneurs, businesses and employers looking to play a role in the town’s growth.
• Find out more about the Investment Prospectus and Middlesbrough’s exciting plans for the future at www.investmiddlesbrough.co.uk