Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak visited the Middlesbrough, in the wake of successful Budget news for the region.
The visit follows the announcement in the 2021 Budget that Teesside will become one of eight new Freeports. The freeport model works by allowing companies to import goods tariff-free and only paying once it is sold into the domestic market, or exporting the final goods without paying UK tariffs.
Tees Valley Mayor’s freeport bid had consulted with over 100 businesses and organisations to develop plans that will maximise the benefits that the freeport can bring.
PD Port’s CEO, Frans Calje called the visit from the Prime Minister and the Chancellor “the beginning of a new chapter in our region’s renaissance.”
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said the freeport “will unlock billions of pounds of private investment, generate trade and create thousands of jobs in communities like Tees Valley, giving people optimism and ambition for the future.”
The Prime Minister said the scheme would take ''time to get going''.
In another bid to "level up" the North, Darlington, which elected a Tory MP in 2019 for the first time in several decades, was one of several locations being considered for the Treasury's new 'economic campus.' The site will initially employ 750 officials and is expected to open before the end of 2024.
The Chancellor denied choosing Darlington as the location for a new Treasury office because of its proximity to his Richmond constituency.
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen joined the Prime Minister and Chancellor on their visit to PD Ports, one of the UK’s major port groups. He said the Teesside freeport would create 18,000 skilled jobs within five years and support green growth, the chemical sector and advanced manufacturing.
Today, the Chancellor has challenged claims that the number of people eligible for a new self-employment grant has been overstated.