More than 100 business leaders representing tens of thousands of workers in the region have backed calls to locate the Treasury’s new northern economic campus in the Tees region.
Figureheads from some of the area’s biggest employers – including PD Ports, Thirteen, Teesside University, Cleveland Cable Company, Charles Clinkard, Wilton Group and Middlesbrough College – have signed a joint letter to Rishi Sunak, urging the chancellor to bring the jobs to the Tees region.
Others who signed the non-political letter include representatives of Tees Valley Business Club and the Institute of Directors (Tees Valley) plus Tees Tech Awards Ambassador Dom Lusardi, Tees Businesswoman of the Year Jane Armitage and her predecessor Sharon Lane.
Signatories include several honoured by the Queen including Bill Scott OBE, Prof Jane Turner OBE, Bob Cuffe MBE and Jane Reynolds MBE – and they represent businesses large and small across a myriad of sectors.
The chancellor has proposed moving 800 officials to a hub – dubbed Treasury North – with Teesside being a potential location.
And the independent letter, organised by Tees Business and signed by 115 business leaders – calls on the government not to miss this “golden opportunity to give our region a much-needed and long overdue economic boost”.
“The Tees region has a range of perfect locations to benefit from the Treasury North,” it says.
“We have the first-class skills and a wide range of outstanding businesses to service a government department ready and waiting.
“Just as importantly, we have an economy that needs help from the levelling up process and would benefit hugely from the once-in-a-generation investment and positive spotlight from such a move.
“There have been suggestions within the media that Newcastle/Tyneside is now the frontrunner to get these government jobs.”
The letter insists that by transferring Treasury jobs – and the related investment – from one thriving city (London) to another thriving city (Newcastle, Leeds or Manchester etc) would “not be levelling up at all”.
It adds: “Teesside and the Tees Valley has been overlooked for the north’s cities too many times before, so we call on you to give us this chance, this boost and this investment.
“It would be a hugely positive statement by the government and proactive display of its levelling up promise to base the Treasury North in the Tees region.
“As a business community, we wholeheartedly support this call to bring the government jobs here and would welcome a visit or talks from you or your officials to discuss the strength of feeling on this key issue.”
Tees Business executive editor Dave Allan said: “People in the Tees region are passionate about their area, and we hope Mr Sunak will listen to this powerful message of support from what is a broad cross-section of businesses, as well as some of the area’s largest employers representing tens of thousands of people.
“Our letter shows the unequivocal and cross-party support that a Teesside Treasury campus has for our region, from influential individuals and organisations who already make Teesside a great place to work.”
The letter and the full list of signatories can be seen here: Tees Business letter to Rishi Sunak MP