After the meeting of the Tees Valley Combined Authority on Thursday, Middlesbrough mayor and Tees Valley Combined Authority member Dave Budd said the meeting had numerous positive benefits going forward.
“This was a business meeting about the businesses of the Tees Valley, not just about the airport, although most people were here about that,” he said.
“It’s the rational way to take the whole Tees Valley economy forward as far as we can for the next 10 years, with the airport being a substantial part of that.
“I hope people picked up things other than what they came for, and I think if it spread the word about what we do that was useful in itself.
“Because I think if you went out in the street and asked somebody what the Tees Valley Combined Authority does you would get a very blank expression.
“Now you might get an ‘it buys airports’ but the more I think we spread the word about what we do is worthwhile in that sense.”
Budd added a note of caution: “Quite a lot of it isn’t certain and has maybe pushed us more into thinking that we maybe need to lobby government more.”
He described the whole process as one of “evolution”.
“This is a point in time in which everything came together, but I think in reality most of the things that are in the investment plan have been in train for some time and/or need developing in the future.
“It’s evolution – we have been doing this for decades now – but, that said, it’s a massive step forward.
“I think publicly it will feel like a step forward as well, and I think that’s important. And it was nice to be applauded for putting my hand in the air – I don’t think that’s ever happened before!”