A £16.5m commitment to the creative and visitor sectors in Tees Valley will be supporting long-term recovery by attracting new events to the region, growing local festivals, encouraging business development and boosting the region’s profile as a visitor destination.
The investment pledge has been made by The Tees Valley Combined Authority Cabinet in response to a projected 48% loss to Tees Valley’s visitor economy in 2020. 44% of creative, culture, tourism and hospitality businesses have reported that their businesses may have to permanently close, compared with 28% across all sectors.
Five local authorities are set to gain from the investment: Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar & Cleveland and Stockton-on-Tees. A task force, chaired by Annabel Turpin, Chief Executive and Artistic Director of ARC Stockton arts centre, will be providing sector-led advice and insight into the challenges and opportunities that businesses in these areas face. She said: “By working collaboratively we can make an even more valuable contribution to our local economy. Our creative and visitor economies in the Tees Valley are tightly linked so it’s fantastic that this new programme recognises and celebrates that.”