Tyne & Wear

Tees Valley City Deal 'may secure 22,000 jobs'

Ensus bioethanlol plant at Wilton
Image caption The Tees Valley is already home to a large chemical industry

More than 22,000 jobs could be created or safeguarded in the Tees Valley if the area wins City Deal status from the government, business leaders claim.

Local enterprise partnership Tees Valley Unlimited (TVU) is one of 20 areas bidding for powers, including the right to spend local tax receipts.

TVU reckons City Deal status could also help pay for the creation of 9,500 apprenticeships a year by 2022.

Ministers say City Deals will rebalance the economy and decentralise powers.

Last year Newcastle was among eight areas across England given City Deal status.

A TVU spokesman said: "There are numerous untapped opportunities within this area that a City Deal would allow us to harness and develop for the economic good of Tees Valley.

'Strong potential'

"By 2017 we estimate the acceleration towards a globally significant low carbon cross sector cluster would create and safeguard some 5,000 jobs.

"To this we would anticipate a further 7,500 jobs being created or safeguarded in other sectors such as logistics or service.

"As the impact grows and starts to attract further inward investment and expanded activity we would anticipate creating and safeguarding a further 10,000 jobs by 2022."

The Tees Valley bid has the backing of local councils in the area and the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).

Sarah Green, director of CBI North East, said: "Tees Valley contains a number of high-growth industries with strong potential to increase employment in skilled, sustainable private sector jobs.

"As the City Deal proposal outlines, building on the existing strengths of the chemical, advanced manufacturing and low-carbon sectors, particularly with regard to improving export performance, is vital to the region and to the North East as a whole."

The government is due to reveal a shortlist of potential City Deal areas in the spring, with final proposals agreed by November.

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