Investment is expected to reach almost £700 million over the coming years, including more than 5,000 high quality new homes and the regeneration of nearly 60 hectares of land. Once complete, Middlesbrough Council will have drawn over £1 billion of new investment into the town over the preceding decade.
In recent years, Middlesbrough Council has demonstrated its commitment to delivering, and investing in, ambitious projects.
Middlesbrough Sports Village, into which the Council invested £21 million, offers a range of state-of-the-art facilities. It features an athletics stadium with 400m track, an indoor athletics track, fitness gym, and multi sports court, with seating for 300 spectators, as well as eleven-a-side, seven-a-side and five-a-side 3G pitches.
The facility also includes an Olympic-sized 250m velodrome, one of the best of its kind in the country, which cost £1.6 million and was built with a £500,000 contribution from British Cycling.
The Council provided a loan to Ashall Projects Ltd. in order for them to complete their Holiday Inn Express development, which extensively refurbished a derelict building in a key town centre location. The Council then offered a second loan less than two years later, allowing Ashall to further extend the hotel, refurbishing a second unused building and bringing the total investment to £14.5 million.
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, such as Patisserie Valerie, are recognising that Middlesbrough is changing and are choosing to invest here. Middlesbrough already boasts 23 out of 24 of the top high street brands expected in any city shopping centre, including House of Fraser, Debenhams, and Marks and Spencer, 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.
Middlesbrough 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 £20m, industry-leading STEM training centre). This investment also led to the extensive renovation of under-used areas of Southfield Road and Middlehaven. If approved, plans by Teesside University for a new student village would see the Gresham area of the town centre completely transformed.
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%.
With DigitalCity and the Boho Zone blazing a trail, Middlesbrough is the centre of the Tees Valley’s digital and creative industry, with companies working for prestigious national and international clients. As well as providing high-specification business premises including Boho One and Boho Five, Middlesbrough Council is committed to improving access to faster broadband for its businesses and residents. The Council is working to ensure at least 98% of Middlesbrough’s premises will have access to superfast broadband by the end of 2017.
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.