Business leaders have visited Teesside University to learn about the work it is doing to support the local economy.

The President of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) Paul Drechsler CBE and Sarah Glendinning, the North East Regional Director of the CBI, met with Pro Vice-Chancellor (Enterprise and Business Engagement) Professor Jane Turner and Laura Woods, Director of The Forge, Teesside University’s business facing hub.

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the proposed Modern Industrial Strategy, articulate the impact Teesside University has on the regional economy and to explore the role of the University’s Centre for Professional and Executive Development (CPED) in supporting businesses to grow, by developing the skills of their workforce.

Professor Turner shared that the University was grasping a widening mandate providing regional leadership, convening powers and connectivity ensuring that it was increasingly involved and positioned in the regional growth agendas.

Mr Drechsler also heard about the University’s plans for the National Horizons Centre, a major research, education and training facility for the UK bioscience industries due to open on Central Park in spring 2019.  He praised the University’s leadership, saying that “for industrial strategy to really work on Teesside, we need to make it happen locally, on the ground.”

Earlier, as part of his visit to the region, Mr Drechsler visited the National Biologics Manufacturing Centre run by the Centre for Process Innovation which is adjacent to CPED at Darlington’s Central Park. There he called on businesses and politicians to work together to help grow the region’s economy, and encouraged the region to agree a strong narrative to demonstrate what it is great at.

Professor Turner said: “We were delighted to welcome Paul and Sarah to CPED and to engage in stimulating debate and discussion.

“They were both very impressed with our exciting plans and our commitment to act as a catalyst for economic growth in the region.

“It was very interesting to hear their views on further ways in which Teesside University can play a pivotal role to CBI’s members and we look forward to continuing our work with them.”

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