The Tees Valley Combined Authority has published further details of the investment available to grow the region’s economy – creating new jobs, growing the skills base and improving infrastructure.
In total, a minimum investment fund of £464m will be available for investment in 2017-21, covering the period of office the Tees Valley’s first elected Mayor, to be elected on May 4 – £220m of that will be for new projects.
The fund will support a number of programmes including:
• A Quality Jobs Programme to support residents in gaining new skills, create quality jobs and support people into them;
• A Business Growth Programme to attract and support new businesses and support companies with their growth plans;
• Schemes to develop our cultural assets and grow our visitor economy;
• Transport investment to improve connectivity within the Tees Valley, the UK and the world; and
• An infrastructure programme to unlock sites for further housing and business development.
The Investment Plan also identifies how the scale of investment can be expanded further, by using new borrowing powers agreed by the Chancellor, levering in greater investment by the private sector, recycling funding by securing returns from investment, and securing more devolution in areas such as skills and housing.
David Budd, chair of Tees Valley Combined Authority and Middlesbrough’s elected mayor, said: “The investment fund allows us to have local control to invest in key priorities that matter to us in our area and not be dictated to by people 250 miles away in London.
“Our investments will make a significant contribution towards the Strategic Economic Plan that we launched last December, with ambitious plans to create 25,000 jobs over 10 years.
“This illustrates the level of ambition of our area and the strength of the proposals we have developed. We will continue to work to secure additional funding to build on these plans.”
This long-term perspective is made possible by the Devolution Deal negotiated by the Tees Valley’s council leaders – replacing short-term allocations of annual funding from government, with a more flexible long-term approach.
The Tees Valley’s Investment Plan joins up 13 different government funds, to create a “single pot” over which decisions can be made in the Tees Valley rather than in London.
The Investment Plan includes the additional funding of £15m a year from the Devolution Deal, which the government has committed for 30 years.
It also incorporates the Local Growth Fund and European Funding. The Investment Plan shows how £170m of European funding can be invested before Brexit, under guarantees provided by the government following the referendum, and puts a strong case for European funding to be replaced by devolved local investment when the UK leaves the EU.
Paul Booth, chair of Tees Valley Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “The investment by the Tees Valley for the Tees Valley will help strengthen our economic performance and give businesses more certainty that the necessary infrastructure is in place for their business to Thrive.
“It will also ensure we are recognised as the best place to grow and locate for businesses in all sectors.”
More information on the Tees Valley investment fund can be found at www.teesvalley-ca.gov.uk/boardpapers