THE Minister for Cities, has welcomed the publication of the Tees Valley Strategic Economic Plan which aims to boost jobs, skills and improve transport links. 

Tees Valley Unlimited, the Local Enterprise Partnership for Tees Valley, has developed this economic blueprint for the area following consultation with householders as well as the public and private sectors.

The strategy’s overall aim is for Tees Valley to become a high-value, low-carbon, diverse and inclusive economy with the focus on six priorities:

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•         Develop and nurture an innovative culture and positive environment for business growth
•         Secure the transformation of Tees Valley into a Low Carbon High Value economy
•         Secure improved skills levels to address future demand in growth sectors and in existing industries
•         Secure additional capacity on the East Coast Mainline rail route and improve rail services to major Northern cities and within the Tees Valley
•         Improve air, road, port, land and property infrastructure to enable economic growth
•         Create and retain wealth by establishing Tees Valley as a preferred location to live in, work and visit.

The Strategic Economic Plan will be used to help the LEP identify the area’s main economic opportunities and how barriers can be addressed with greater freedoms and flexibilities through the allocation of the Government’s new Local Growth Fund.

Known as Growth Deals, the Local Growth Fund will be available from April 2015.

On-going negotiations will take place between Tees Valley Unlimited and the Government to secure the finance and resources needed to help attract investment, improve infrastructure, develop the workforce and create local jobs.

Greg Clark MP, said: “This provides the opportunity to unleash the ambition and creativity of Tees Valley’s local leaders, by devolving resource and responsibility in return for compelling local economic leadership in pursuit of growth.”