(L - R): Mayors Preston and Houchen launching the Middlesbrough Development Corporation.
Matthew Neville

Mayors join forces to unveil “bold new vision” for £106m Middlesbrough town centre investment

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen and Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston have today unveiled a “bold new vision” for Middlesbrough town centre.

At a major event attended by dozens of key partners and business leaders, the pair laid out plans for a Middlesbrough Development Corporation, the third of its kind in the region, which will transform the town, make the streets “safer and cleaner” and capitalise on the £106m of investment being made there.

The body would focus on the town centre, Middlehaven and Zetland Historic Quarter and tie them together more closely, including crucial assets such as the Boho zone, Middlesbrough Station, the Northern School of Art, Centre Square, Teesside University and more. It will come at no extra cost to the taxpayer, or have any impact on council tax rates.

The Middlesbrough Development Corporation follows the success of the area’s first Mayoral Development Corporation, Teesworks in Redcar, which is currently seeing hundreds of millions of pounds of investment in low-carbon and renewable schemes from some of the world’s biggest firms.

Many national businesses, including insurance company AXA, have already seen the benefits in relocating to a new office in the town. Modernising and developing the centre to help it rival big cities such as Newcastle and Leeds will leverage more private sector investment, improve it for local people and visitors and keep it thriving.

Mayor Houchen said: “We have funded huge schemes across Middlesbrough to boost transport, education, business investment and infrastructure but, until now, there have never been plans to draw these together to supercharge the town and make it much, much more than the sum of its parts.

“This announcement is about more than just bricks and mortar, though. The Development Corporation will sit at the heart of the town, growing it as a place and transforming the culture to make the streets safer and cleaner. We want to create a town where young people want to live and study and businesses will flock to.

Mayor Preston added: “We’ve made amazing progress in transforming Middlesbrough in the past three years. We’re building the first homes in the town centre for a generation and developing the best leisure venues for miles around.

“We have thriving companies doing business on the global stage and millions of pounds are being invested in culture to help attract more visitors to town. A Development Corporation will help us win more investment and create jobs of all kinds.”

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