WORK has begun on a new business park which has the potential to bring 1,000 jobs to the region.

Greg Clark, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, was on hand at a special ceremony to mark the start of work on the Tees Advanced Manufacturing Park (TeesAMP) – which bosses have labelled as the £55m home of advanced manufacturing in the North.

The cabinet minister called on manufacturers from around the world to “make it in Middlesbrough” as he helped put the first spade in the ground at the 11 hectare site.

TeesAMP is funded by £12.5m from Middlesbrough Council, £7.65m from Tees Valley Combined Authority, £2.3m from the SSI Taskforce and some private investment.

The first phase of the project will deliver 180,000 sq ft of advanced manufacturing space across 17 buildings.

Mr Clark, who was born and raised in Normanby, said: “I am pleased to be part of the ground-breaking of the Tees AMP which will play a hugely important role in driving forward delivery of our modern industrial strategy in the North-East while bringing 1,000 highly skilled jobs to the region.”

The team behind TeesAMP is already in advanced talks with a range of manufacturers that are keen to call the Tees Valley home.

Once completed, the first phase of the project will be home to at least 17 advanced manufacturing companies and it is expected to generate hundreds of millions of pounds for the Tees Valley economy.

Dave Budd, Mayor of Middlesbrough, said: “TeesAMP is a clear symbol of our ambition, not just for Middlesbrough but for the whole of the Tees Valley.

“This is a development of national significance that will attract major investment, delivering jobs, skills and long-term prosperity.”

Ben Houchen, Tees Valley Mayor, said: “TeesAMP is a game-changing opportunity to attract cutting-edge advanced manufacturing firms to the Tees Valley.

“The more businesses we have investing, employing, training and exporting in our area the better for local workers. It’s fantastic to see the work beginning to make our ambitious vision a reality.

”Greg Clark’s visit shows just how important a project this is, not just because it will put our region ahead of the pack in this vital sector, but it will also provide a huge boost to UK plc.

“I look forward to welcoming the first businesses on site."