By Joanne Barrett
Business leaders from around the region gathered at a special event in July to Talk Up Teesside.
The exclusive event was organised by Tees Business, hosted by SABIC at the Wilton Centre and attended by around 100 guests who heard from a high-powered panel during an interesting Q&A session.
And there were plenty of things to talk about.
Here’s a dozen positive messages and great things happening right now to #TalkUpTeesside:
1. Teesside already has a great infrastructure to attract potential investors and it is ready and waiting: communication and transport links, a deep water port that serves the world, essential utilities and an eco system of qualified personnel.
2. Our message is set to be spread far and wide. Tees Valley Combined Authority has joined forces with Tees Business publishers Resolution Media to launch a brand new initiative to promote our region to the rest of the UK, December 2019 will see the campaign launch.
3. Plastics – a dirty word? Not so on Teesside. Our region manufactures the chemicals used to build plastic used in all walks of life – and the technology is ready and waiting to be able to take used plastics and break them back down into their component parts ready for re-use.
4. Teesside’s thriving tech and digital sector is helping to drive our area’s more traditional heavy engineering industries with the use of clever software tools and innovative technology to aid everything from machine efficiency to launching demonstrations with clients around the world.
5. Planning approval has been given for the 1.7GW gas fired power station on the Wilton site, to be built by utilities specialist SembCorp. It will provide power for millions of homes.
6. Hydrogen trains are on the cards. Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen has made clean energy a priority and he is hoping to sign off a deal to build the vehicles in the region as well as creating a new refuelling infrastructure by 2022.
7. 2020 will see a major overhaul of SABIC’s Wilton plant to prepare it for the next six years of operations. The plant operates 24/7, 365 days a year and employs more than 600 people in the manufacture of chemicals on Teesside
8. Hopes are high that Mayor Houchen will shortly sign off a deal to make Teesside the European capital for the offshore wind industry – using the site occupied by the former SSI steelworks in Redcar as a base.
9. The potential exists to create a nuclear fusion centre on Teesside, said Mayor Houchen, an exciting development in terms of meeting energy needs.
10. A spotlight was shone on the importance of coping with stress and mental health in memory of Billingham haulage company boss Russ Devereux.
11. The importance of showing our young people, students, apprentices and our talented skills base that there is a vibrant industry on Teesside has been recognised – whether that’s petrochemicals, ports, services, engineering, and it is here for a long time.
12. Our area is a beautiful place in which to live, work and do business from the services we can offer to the scenery of the moors, coast and the warm welcome our people extend. The key to work life balance is ours to show.