The activities of Teesside University benefit the economy of the North East and Tees Valley by more than £128.4 million, according to a new study.

The report, commissioned by the University and carried out by independent consultancy New Skills Consulting, investigated the economic impact of the University in 2018/19 as measured by Gross Value Added (GVA).

The University’s nationwide GVA totalled £141.1 million, an increase of £15.7 million on the previous year.

When taking into account the long-term impact of the University’s knowledge exchange activities, the cumulative GVA totals £208 million.

The University spent approximately £142 million in 2018/19 and the same economic impact report also found that it supported a total of 2,961 jobs, not including the 1,614 staff it employs.

In addition, when taking into account the increased earning potential of its graduates, the University’s human capital impact – the economic value of the knowledge, skills and competencies produced – is estimated at £1.4 billion.

The findings in the report validate Teesside University’s mission as an anchor institution with a key role in driving economic growth.

This role has been particularly evident in recent months, with the University playing an integral part in the region’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

The National Horizons Centre in Darlington has supplied local NHS trusts with state-of-the-art equipment to enable them to scale up testing, while academics have been working with clinicians on research to understand the clinical course of Covid-19 cases in the region and helping to understand risk factors.

Businesses have been supported through the crisis through the University’s DigitalCity initiative which has tailored its SME support to an online offering. The University is also working with Tees Valley Combined Authority to help shape future support for companies as part of the response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Professor Jane Turner OBE DL, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Enterprise and Business Engagement at Teesside University, said: “We are delighted by the findings in this report.

“Our determined efforts throughout the Covid-19 pandemic have further illustrated the impact and role of the University.

“Our ability to be agile and responsive to the pressing needs of our business community was so important to us. Our support ranged from the collaboration with Tees Valley Combined Authority to create a survey to help us really understand the issues faced by business; digital skills training for many furloughed staff; diagnostic support for 22 businesses to help them pivot and then access funds to support new product or service development; to help early stage digital businesses build not recede; offering technical support to 55 companies and 38 graduate internships to help businesses. I could go on.    

“But as civic university, it is vital that we take an active role in the resurgence of the region’s economy so it is reaffirming that our work in this regard is being validated.”