Paul Booth, chair of Tees Valley Local Enterprise Partnership, is excited about the region’s future and said now the plan’s go-ahead has been given it’s time to deliver.
After the meeting of the Tees Valley Combined Authority on Thursday, he told us: “It’s a great investment plan, it’s aspirational and it’s about stopping feeling sorry for ourselves and standing up and saying ‘this what we are going to do’.
“I think it is important to say that it isn’t without its risks but, that being said, if you do what you’ve always done you’re going to get what you’ve always got, so the risk appetite has got to change.
“Although it looks like a lot of hard work has gone into this already, it has been easy. The hard work starts now.
“Now it’s about getting the deal done with the operator, getting the infrastructure at the airport, it’s about getting the rest of the land at South Tees, putting money into the education system and building tourism. It’s all of those things within the overall plan – there is a lot to do.
“It’s about actually starting to deliver some of that as opposed to stop talking about it.
“It was pleasing that politics could be put aside to make the decision,” he added.
“But in any democracy there needs to be an ability to challenge and test, whether you do it behind closed doors or in the public domain, and I think there has been a lot of both. So it’s all healthy and we have got to the right answer. Time will tell.”