1. ITV Report

Heseltine sets out vision for Tees Valley transformation

Lord Heseltine was called on to write the report in the wake of the closure of SSI's steelworks in Redcar Photo: Isabel Infantes/EMPICS Entertainment

An independent report published by Lord Heseltine will set out his vision for turning the Tees Valley into a 'bustling powerhouse of economic activity'.

The former deputy Prime Minister's report was commissioned by the Government after the closure of the SSI steelworks in Redcar last September, with the loss of around 3,000 jobs.

The Tory grandee will out several proposals to make the Tees Valley into a 'global investment hotspot and huge generator of growth' when the report is officially released in Middlsebrough later.

The proposals include:

  • Establishing a South Tees Development Corporation
  • Combining business support currently offered by several bodies into one service
  • Ensuring the combined authority provides ambitious leadership to transform education and skills
  • Investigating extending the Transpennine electrification scheme to include the Northallerton-Teesport line
The SSI steelworks was officially transferred to receivers last October

The report also includes recommendations for new uses of the now empty SSI site in Redcar, which has been in the hands of receivers since last year.

When the steelworks was officially closed in October, it marked the end of 98 years of steel production at the site.

Lord Heseltine said: "The region is as ready as ever to deliver in a global marketplace and I set out today how we can support this admirable ambition for it once again to assert its character on the world stage. I have been impressed by the determination of local people to lead this opportunity and am looking forward to seeing their ambitions realised..."

Andy McDonald has described the report as 'patronising waffle' Credit: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire

However the report has been dismissed by Middlesbrough MP Andy McDonald as an empty gesture and a 'statement of the stark-staringly and blindingly obvious'.

He notes that the report does nothing to 'bring about the investment and changes we need.'