The Tees Valley business community welcomed devolution plans and heard at first hand how the Government’s £15m a year for the area will be spent at a meeting held at Marton Country Club.
Over 100 people from all different sectors attended the event and welcomed the opportunity to ensure businesses had maximum involvement in the ambitious devolution proposals which will see £450 million pounds given to the area over 30 years as well as additional powers to decide how the money is spent. The meeting was organised by the North East England Chamber of Commerce, Tees Valley Business Club, FSB, the CBI, Entrepreneurs Forum and EEF.
Paul Booth, Chair, Tees Valley Local Enterprise Partnership and Tees Valley Combined Authority board member said: “Businesses in Tees Valley have worked closely with local authorities for many years and there is a great spirit of co-operation which will be cemented by the devolution plans. We have the reputation for being a ‘can do’ region by Westminster and that has helped enormously to get us where we are now. Our aim is now to build on this success and really engage with local business to maximise the benefits for the area.”
“Today’s meeting is the start of this process to understand fully how best to understand and respond to the business communities’ needs.”
The initial tranche of funding is ear-marked for economic growth initiatives including skills development, innovation, housing and social inclusion.
Tony Horridge, managing director, Cablecom Training said: “This meeting has given us a platform to discuss the wider issues of devolution. It has made me want to contribute to the process. As an MD and training provider it is important we help young people to find work in Tees Valley and find the best way to train the next generation of skilled workers.”
Carol Kerr, business manager, Actes said: “I found the meeting very stimulating. Going forward we need to keep the devolution messages clear so businesses can engage easily with minimum jargon. The momentum also needs to be there so this is the start of regular information for companies on what is happening with devolution. It is also vital young businesses are part of these discussions.”