Middlesbrough is open for business – and looking forward to the future with ever-growing confidence and ambition.
Located in the north east of England, Middlesbrough is a key urban centre in the thriving Tees Valley region.
From a town which in the Victorian era grew exponentially into a global centre of the iron and steel industry, Middlesbrough has become a 21st century hub for high-flying digital businesses, and cutting-edge advanced manufacturing.
The Council’s investment strategy will see the town transformed through investments totalling almost £700 million. Over the next four years the Council is committed to an injection of £74 million into a series of exciting developments as part of the town’s far-reaching Investment Prospectus. This confidence in Middlesbrough’s growing stature as the city heart of the Tees Valley will act as a catalyst for the creation of 5,000 new jobs in the town, in tandem with more than £600 million of inward investment from the private sector and other parts of the public sector by 2020.
The cost of living in Middlesbrough is lower than Newcastle, York and Leeds. Average house prices in the North East are the lowest in the UK, and nearly half the national average. Middlesbrough is currently embarked on the most ambitious housebuilding programme in its history, with more than 1,500 new homes completed over the last two years and 7,000 due by 2029.
Middlesbrough boasts two museums, seven Green Flag awarded parks, the multi-million pound Middlesbrough Sports Village which includes an Olympic-sized velodrome, and a Premier League football team.
Middlesbrough offers a huge variety of independent shops and eateries, and is fast becoming renowned for its unique offer. New businesses are most notably clustered on fashionable Baker and Bedford Streets after the Council invested half a million pounds to help support fledgling businesses by offering low cost premises.
The popularity and quirky appeal of this area has seen the Council undertaking work on neighbouring streets to bring the public realm up to the same high standard, as well a public art project in which poetry is being painted onto the sides of prominent buildings. In 2016, Management Today hailed Middlesbrough as the Shoreditch of the north.
Prestigious high street names are recognising that Middlesbrough is changing and are choosing to invest here, including Patisserie Valerie (cafe offering handmade cakes and patisserie) which recently opened.
Middlesbrough boasts 23 out of 24 of the top high street brands expected in any city shopping centre, and has the third biggest shopping centre in the north east (after Newcastle and the MetroCentre) with more than 160,000sqm of retail floor space.
People and skills
Within 20 minutes’ drive time of Middlesbrough, there are 472,380 people; 65,000 of whom are in managerial or professional occupations, and 75,000 who are degree (or above) educated.
The town has some of the area’s leading educational facilities and opportunities after massive investment by Teesside University (more than £250 million invested in its Campus Heart development, with a further £50 million scheduled for the next three years) and Middlesbrough College (including the new £20m, industry-leading STEM training centre).
Business and enterprise
According to the Enterprise Research Centre, Tees Valley is the best performing of the Northern local economic areas for innovation, and at seventh in the overall rankings, is outperforming areas including London, Liverpool and Greater Manchester. Middlesbrough also has the highest business start-up rate in the Tees Valley, at 17.5%.
Middlesbrough offers some of the lowest operating costs in the UK, with commercial rents, rates and terms very competitively priced compared to major cities, and the Council is working to ensure at least 98% of Middlesbrough’s premises will have access to superfast broadband by the end of 2017.
Businesses occupying a property with a rateable value of £6,000 per year or less, are currently exempt from paying business rates, and the rate of relief decreases gradually from 100% to 0% for properties with a rateable value between £6,001 and £12,000.
From shoes (Charles Clinkard – £3 million invested – creating additional 20 jobs), to bread (On A Roll sandwich company – £3.6 million invested – creating 96 jobs), to steel (AV Dawson – £12.5 million invested – 60 new jobs), vastly different companies have successfully chosen to establish themselves in Middlesbrough.