AS you will have no doubt read in this paper, we have benefited from high-level political visits over the past couple of weeks, including the Prime Minister in Tees Valley to launch the Mayoral Development Company.

We wholeheartedly welcome the formal establishing of this organisation.

The SSI UK site is of fundamental importance to the regeneration of the Tees Valley and its success will positively impact on the whole region as a consequence.

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I realise there is still a huge amount of work to do to bring such a massive site forward so it can be attractive to investors, but it is good news the company is now at a stage where it can roll up its sleeves and get cracking.

We look forward to the plans being published and working with the South Tees Development Corporation to bring about the successful regeneration of the site.

However, there was an important elephant in the room at the launch, as in the lack of reference to new money.

These former industrial sites are not cheap to redevelop and investors don’t want to pay to remedy historical problems or have any unwelcome surprises when they break the ground.

The site will need to have support to fulfil its potential.

The Northern Powerhouse Minister, Jake Berry, was in Durham City recently to see some of the exciting developments there, as well as visit one of our members, Atom Bank, and their innovative disruptive technology work.

He has not been in his role for long but he has a substantial agenda to get his teeth into and needs to hit the ground running.

One of the key issues he needs to help us tackle is the transport funding gap in our region and across the North, which has received substantial media coverage and rightly so.

I attended the Transport Summit in Leeds with major political players and business leaders including our members Ryder Architecture, Bond Dickinson and Intu.

It was good to see the North building a message to Government about the need for a fairer funding deal between the South and us.

Businesses have an important role to play in this campaign to help ameliorate party politics.

Excellent travel connections around our region are critical to develop prosperous businesses.

James Ramsbotham is chief executive at the North East England Chamber of Commerce