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Teesside Investment

Volume 616: debated on Monday 24 October 2016

8. With reference to the report by Lord Heseltine, “Tees Valley: Opportunity Unlimited”, published in June 2016, whether he plans to provide increased levels of support or investment for Teesside. (906733)

The Government are clear that there are huge opportunities on Teesside, which was why the Secretary of State met Tees Valley leaders last week. That is also why we are committed to implementing the groundbreaking devolution deal. We have made the transfer of the first £15 million. In addition, we will be providing Tees Valley with £37.7 million this year from our local growth fund.

While not flawless, the Heseltine report recognises the real potential on Teesside. However, the recommended electrification of the North Allerton to Teesside line has been ruled out. Carbon capture and storage was recommended but has been ruled out. Prioritisation for the national teaching service for the area is still under review. The immediate transfer of the former SSI site to the new mayoral development corporation is recommended but still in limbo, with previous promises on funding taken away. Will the Minister give any of the report’s recommendations the go-ahead in the near or middle-distant future?

We are already implementing some of those recommendations. Many, of course, were down to local implementation. Just last week, we issued the indemnity allowing the site inspections to be undertaken. Once the inspections have been completed, we expect the MDC, which we wish to establish in the middle of next year, to come forward with proposals on resources. The national teaching service pilot scheme has already been rolled out. We will confirm plans for rolling it out further later in the year. I want to work with the hon. Gentleman and other key stakeholders in the region because there is huge potential in that site—we are absolutely clear about that.