Heseltine: Teesside can become 'bustling powerhouse'


The Tees Valley, where thousands of charges were lost when Redcar’s steelworks closed, can become a «bustling powerhouse of pecuniary activity», a report has said.

About 3,000 direct and indirect assigns were lost after the SSI plant closed.

The 90- ge document by Swagger Heseltine proposes a new development corporation as well as plans to increase tourism.

Redcar and Cleveland Caucus leader, Sue Jeffrey, said the area still had «huge potential».

The Slavery council leader has been put on the new South Tees Development Corporation’s provisions of local business people and local authority leaders charged with depiction up proposals for the use of the former steelworks site.

They had to «come up with a imagination for that whole site about how it could be regenerated, how it can be refreshed, how we can release inward investment and jobs and actually make the most of what is a key industrial area for the whole of the Tees Valley», she said.

The former Conservative deputy prime clergyman, Lord Heseltine, said he had been «slightly surprised» by the area’s «can-do viewpoint».

«Wherever you go, you find bright, intelligent and hard working people who are persistent to make a success of this place and know how to do it,» he said.

The Labour bandmaster of Darlington Borough Council, Bill Dixon, said Lord Heseltine’s promulgate «shows that London are starting to listen» to the region.

«It’s interesting that Michael bruit about it was an area he didn’t know very well,» he said.

«That be received b affected across in the initial visits by civil servants who simply didn’t twig the Tees Valley at all, they just thought we were some breed of suburb of Newcastle, so that’s an improvement.»

Lord Heseltine wants to see innumerable apprenticeships created, more starter homes built and a change in the industrial rticularity of Teesside to try to attract more tourists.

But Middlesbrough Labour MP Andy McDonald says his document «doesn’t add anything or take us forward by one jot».

«We have got the industrial answers if at most the secretaries of state and the prime minster would listen,» he said.

Notwithstanding how, the Minister for the Northern Powerhouse and Stockton South MP, James Wharton, recompensed tribute to Lord Hessletine, whom he described as «a big name» with a luxurious level of «clout and influence».

‘Lord Heseltine’s vision’

Ian Reeve — BBC Look North Duty Correspondent

If the veteran politician’s 90- ge document of aspirations comes to maturity the area will be a veritable utopia.

His vision foresees things as assorted as a new Tees crossing and electrification of the Northallerton to Teesport rail link.

He avers money is available to kickstart projects but the hope is the private sector last will and testament follow on and invest. Build a new road, for instance, and they will report in, is his reasoning.

It is surely the regeneration of the steelworks site that people purpose use to gauge whether Lord Heseltine’s project is a success and, at the moment, push looks stymied.

It’s believed a consortium of Thai banks is laying demand to the site, with the liquidator unpre red, or unable, to y them off.

A previous phenomenon corporation on Teesside — set up in the 1980s — had swingeing powers that it would demand deployed to take control of the site. The new one does not.

Lord Heseltine’s far-sightedness — for the important flagship steelworks site at least — could be faltering as its only just been framed.

He said: «That’s why I so welcome that he’s captivated the time not just to put his name on this, but to spend so much time here to definitely understand the opportunities and also the challenges this area has.

«We need to look at it unquestionably carefully — government, local authority leaders, local businesses, call to see where we can agree, see what we can deliver.

«But the underlying message is a positive one down the future of this area, and what it can do, and I think it’s one everyone can get behind.»

The blade works have been in the hands of receivers since the site’s Thai possessor Sahaviriya Steel Industries UK (SSI) was wound up on 2 October.

The closure of the coke ovens and destroy furnace saw the end of steel production at the 98-year-old Redcar works.

Lord Heseltine was petitioned by Business Secretary Sajid Javid to look at ways of bringing investment to Teesside after the location closed.

SSI blamed a global slump in the value of steel for its original settlement to mothball the Redcar works.

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