Middlesbrough mayor Dave Budd has declared the “city centre strategy is working” as new figures show resounding economic growth.
Newly released year-on-year statistics show an increase in visitor numbers, visitor spending and employment in the tourism sector.
In March 2017 Middlesbrough Council launched its Investment Strategy which involved the authority investing around £70m which it projected would bring inward investment of more than £600m and create over 4,000 jobs.
Since that time the city centre has seen the opening of new hotels – the Holiday Inn Express and Premier Inn with a third on the way, new restaurants and new leisure facilities.
Albert Road is being regenerated with offices, city living homes and food and drink provisions, the rail station is set to undergo a £20m transformation, the Grade II listed The Zetland has been restored and reopened and the renovated St James House is offering city living accommodation for students and professionals.
These recent developments add to numerous other ongoing projects changing the face of Middlesbrough including Centre Square offices and new buildings on the Teesside University campus.
Mayor Budd said: “The city centre strategy is working – investment is flooding into Middlesbrough and there is barely a street in in the city centre that is not seeing positive development.
“Everywhere you look there are new restaurants, new offices, new bars, new hotels and new leisure outlets. We are seeing new buildings created and old buildings restored.
“I make no apology for referring to Middlesbrough as a city – it is the city heart of a region of three quarters of a million people and by us showing huge ambition through the Investment Strategy, investors are now putting their belief in what can and will be achieved in Middlesbrough.”
The figures, compiled by Tees Valley Combined Authority, show:
• 4.29 million people visited Middlesbrough in 2017. This was up by 6% on 2016.
• The number of day’s visitors spent in the destination also grew on 2016 (5.5%) to 4.82 million visitor days.
• Visitor expenditure in Middlesbrough now stands at £189m, up by 4.9% on 2016.
• The number of people directly employed in tourism in Middlesbrough in 2017 stood at 1,936, up by 3.8% on 2016. When indirect employment in the supply chain is taken into account total employment stands at 2,442, up by 4% on 2016.
• The number of overnight visitors to Middlesbrough stands at 423,000 with these visitors spending 946,000 nights in the destination. These visitors spend £56 million up by 1% on 2016.
• Day visitor levels have risen by 6.7% to 3.87m, with expenditure levels growing by the same rate to £133m.
• The Food and Drink sector accounts for 35% of all expenditure and 38% of all employment.
• 90% of all visits are day visits while these visitors account for 70% of expenditure.
The Investment Prospectus identifies seven key areas which have vital role to play in Middlesbrough’s future, Middlehaven, the Commercial and Cultural District, Business and Enterprise, the Railway Station and Historic Quarter, the University Quarter, Teesside Media and Innovation Village and Growth and Prosperity through housing.