The Tees Valley mayor has reaffirmed his support for digital businesses in a special visit to Stockton’s Fusion Hive.
Ben Houchen met with businesses at the specialist hub on Stockton’s Northshore and heard what more he could be doing to support the area’s burgeoning digital community.
On a tour of the Fusion Hive premises he met engineering software specialists Datum360, roofing technology specialists Tapered Plus and cloud computing firm Circle Cloud.
And resident drone company RectrixAS was on hand to let the Mayor take the controls and fly high above Stockton with one of its drones – normally used for sophisticated surveying for oil and gas, petrochemical and property companies.
He said: “Digital commerce is incredibly important to the future of the Tees Valley and its global reach.
“Fusion Hive is home to innovative companies with world-beating products that are helping to put our area on the map, and I want to do all I can to support their growth and the creation of more like them.
“From aerial surveying services to computer games, the Tees Valley is building a strong reputation for cutting edge technology and know-how.”
Gilly Hall, business innovation manager at Teesside University, said: “Fusion Hive companies are contributing to the Tees Valley’s technological prowess, and it’s great they’re recognised by our Mayor.
“With support from Teesside University, a great skills base nearby and good connectivity we want to send the message that Stockton is a great place to base a digital business.
“Fusion Hive is part of a thriving business ecosystem that includes larger established names like Cubic and Visualsoft as well as small businesses such as Renoovo Design and RAW Digital Training, based in the nearby Digital House.”
Digital and creative is one of seven priority sectors in the Mayor’s portfolio – one which is expected to grow by 3,000 people by 2026.
Houchen has previously cheered the sector as crucial to Tees Valley’s future growth and resilience, and is keen to learn directly from businesses about the challenges and opportunities they face.
He added: “The Tees Valley is really gathering momentum and with great assets like Teesside University and Fusion Hive we’re in a strong position to deliver even more growth.
“Getting to meet the people behind these businesses helps me understand the conditions they need to grow, and how my role as Mayor can deliver for them.”