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Cameron unveils city deal job boost
THE Prime Minister is in the North-East this morning to hand the region greater control over job creation and skills training.
He will also launch a revolutionary plan to capture industrial emissions to heat homes and offices.
However, on the day after 700 North-East Passport Office jobs looked to have been saved in Durham City, it is still unclear how the Tees Valley City Deal will tackle unemployment and growth.
City Deals – a flagship Coalition policy – will devolve power and budgets from Whitehall to the regions.
During a visit to Stockton, David Cameron will confirm the deal has been agreed with council leaders and Tees Valley Unlimited (TVU), the local enterprise partnership.
Development chiefs said it has the potential to boost the chemical process industries, supporting the creation of 3,500 jobs and attracting £28m of private sector investment.
But the Tees Valley deal will boost the region’s coffers by a relatively modest £12m.
It follows £22m of Government investment announced earlier in the year to ease traffic congestion and support growing firms.
The most eye-catching element is a carbon capture and storage scheme to use waste energy from Tees Valley’s industries to heat businesses, homes, hospitals and council buildings.
It will save up to 15 per cent on businesses’ energy bills and cut pollution.
If a team of engineers can prove it works, it will be the first of its kind in the UK, and one of only a handful worldwide.
Mr Cameron said: “As our economy turns a corner, I want to see our great Northern towns and cities right at the heart of the recovery.
“This new City Deal for the Tees Valley will mean a huge boost for local jobs and help build on more than 12,000 new businesses started in the North-East since 2010. It will also give the area greater power and freedoms, allowing local people to take more decisions on the economy for themselves. There is a long way to go, but step by step, inch by inch, we are fighting for a recovery for all.”
TVU chairman Sandy Anderson said: “City Deal will place Tees Valley at the forefront of developing green technologies. It builds on our industrial strengths and provides the potential for the area to become one of the world’s top locations for investment in these sectors.
“It also will allow Tees Valley to help shape Government policies that affect the local area. This includes everything from the promotion of Tees Valley overseas to the creation of greater planning certainty that will encourage business growth.”
Greg Clark, the Middlesbrough- born Cities Minister, said: Anyone who knows Teesside, as I do, knows that the industrial strengths of the area are world-beating in what are growing global markets.”
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