BUSINESS leaders in the Tees Valley have been urged to turn aspirations into expectations.

The Big Up Tees Valley event celebrated firms’ growth.

Organised by accountants Evolution, it was supported by entrepreneurs and business leaders, including James Ramsbotham, North East Chamber of Commerce chief executive, and Stephen Catchpole, Tees Valley Unlimited managing director.

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Mr Ramsbotham said: “I’m immensely proud of where our region is today.

“Places like ours and all of the great things businesses are doing are what really make this country work.”

Mr Catchpole spoke about the view towards the Tees Valley.

He said: “One of our problems is the negative perception the rest of the country has of the Tees Valley and we need more events like this to show them they are wrong.

“Unlike other regions, we are moving towards an ideal economy and a lot of the work we do contributes towards the national economy too.

“We have a thriving subsea sector, digital technology hubs, the launch of the exciting national biologics centre and more.”

Martin Barber, Evolution managing partner, added: “The aim was to spread the word about Tees Valley and we are keen for this to become an annual occasion.”