It is without apology that this week I revert to a subject I have written about before – the need for people living and working in Teesside to be proud of their area and to trumpet our successes and strengths rather than letting the area be tarnished by external media reports of everything that is wrong. It would be naïve not to acknowledge that this area has some challenges – it is not alone in that at the moment, but it has also got much to be proud of and much that is successful and now is the time to let the world know what they are missing by not engaging in this area.
It is for this reason that Jacksons is delighted to support the Gazette’s Invest in Teesside campaign. This is a campaign launched by the Gazette and backed by top businesses in the region to encourage growth, job creation and to attract investment. If you have not yet had chance to read the first supplement produced by the Gazette in connection with this then I would commend it to you, as I am sure you will be encouraged and excited by the comments and initiatives which companies in the region such as Nifco, Teesside University, the Tees Valley Combined Authority, PD Ports and of course, Jacksons are engaged in to help generate and support business and employment in the region.
It is particularly encouraging to see that our five local authorities are working together on key decisions that affect the Tees Valley to help accelerate economic growth. This unity will be further strengthened when a Tees Valley Mayor is elected in May. When we look at issues such as transport links and selling tourism it makes perfect sense ( well to me at least) that all of the local authorities should work together on this for mutual benefit and that together we will form a stronger voice to fight our concern in the rest of the country and beyond.
Whilst considering growth and development on Thursday evening, I attended the presentation by Ashall Projects Ltd and Middlesbrough Borough Council on the proposed office development for Central Square, Middlesbrough. This is a really visionary scheme to try and bring the workforce back into Middlesbrough town centre and thereby to breathe new life into the town centre. If the video and artists impression of the scheme is anything to go by this will be a dramatic and impressive build which will hopefully attract new businesses into the region along with their spending power. Further this is to be enhanced by the Councils’ other development plans in terms of housing, retail, leisure and transport due to be launched next month.
With all this activity we are in exciting times. We will hardly recognise our region soon with all these changes. However, in all of this we can be confident that one thing will not change and that is, that the people of this area will continue to be friendly, caring, resilient, innovative and strong and that is something that we would never want to change.