The time is NOW for Tees Valley businesses to SHOUT!
Do you know exactly where the Tees Valley is? If not, you may know us better as Teesside, before our early noughties rebrand by a former government quango.
Either way, we are the collective area of revolutionary industrial towns donning the banks of the mighty River Tees; Middlesbrough, Stockton, Redcar, Hartlepool and Darlington.
If your geography is still not that good, we are the beautiful coastal region tucked between the North York Moors (to the south) and the fabulous cities of Durham, Sunderland and Newcastle to the North.
Our heritage as a vibrant, industrial region put Teesside on the map, and although some of those heavy industries are now something we can only look back on with great pride, a new generation of industries is not only emerging, but thriving.
This is happening right now, and there are many great examples to prove it.
Our heavy industrial river industries are now building wind turbines for the world’s largest offshore windfarms and decommissioning some of the world’s largest oil platforms that reach the end of their lives.
We are responsible for transforming the landscapes (and seascapes) for the next generation, playing a vital role in the revolution of the energy sector and climate change.
Our university is world renowned for computer gaming, animation and programming. The idea and creation of Grand Theft Auto was born from graduates of Teesside University, and a business set up in its incubator hub!
Our tech businesses are among the largest and fastest growing companies in the North East, many of which I guarantee you will have visited online – but never known it.
Then there is our service sector, one that I am particularly familiar with. A thriving group of professional services businesses (lawyers, accountants, banks and financial planners), looking after some of the country’s largest businesses. We offer a much lower cost base compared to larger city firms, yet the same high levels of expertise.
As you can see, our history as a world-leading region still resonates today in much of what we do, with many pointing to our exceptional work ethic and down to earth humble personalities. We are different, and we’re proud of it.
As one of the first regions to embrace devolved powers from the UK government in 2017, we have an elected Mayor in Ben Houchen who has been championing our region for more than two years.
The impact of this voice on a national and international scale is significant, and an element that had been missing for a long time. Now, I intend to do the same for Tees Valley business owners and leaders; uniting, upskilling and promoting our business community to a wider audience.
My role as branch chair for the newly formed North East (South) region for the IoD is one that I embrace with open arms - and it could not have been better timed for our area.
As a proud (and humble) Teessider myself, I want to make sure that we are all looking forwards, not backwards. We have much to shout about, and everyone needs to know about it.
Karl Pemberton Branch chair, IoD North East (South)