With the deadline for submitting freeport bids to Government only six working days away, PD Ports has today thanked over 100 customers and stakeholders for their support. Since Spring 2020, PD Ports and its independent expert advisers have been working tirelessly to support the Tees Valley Mayor, who is leading the bid, as well as regional businesses and associated organisations to realise our shared ambition of creating thousands of new jobs in the Tees Valley.
The massive effort undertaken by PD Ports has seen over 100 people from more than 50 organisations participate in regular online meetings to share their views on all aspects of the bid, including which locations offer the best opportunities for economic transformation. This consultation has been the foundation of PD Ports’ longstanding commitment to help build the strongest possible freeport bid by using rigorous and objective analysis based on the Government’s bid criteria in an open, collaborative process.
All of the feedback gained from customers and stakeholders has been openly and completely shared with the Tees Valley Mayor, who personally joined the first consultation meeting on 2nd December last year, and his team. Alongside detailed insights prepared by experts at leading consultancy, Mace, and law firm, Womble Bond Dickinson, it is now hoped that this information will be fully reflected in the final bid that is currently being drafted inside the Tees Valley Combined Authority.
The information shared with the Tees Valley Mayor details a number of locations and new investment opportunities that can be included in the bid. As well as parts of the Teesworks site, Hartlepool and the Teesport Estate, customer and stakeholder feedback evidentially supports the contention that Wilton and Teesport Commerce Park should be included within the Bid. Indeed, including Wilton would build on the region’s exporting strengths and speed the delivery of benefits by using existing “plug and play” facilities, complementing the longer-term opportunities around renewable energy that could be unlocked by the still undeveloped Teesworks site.
PD Ports’ Chief Operating Officer and Vice Chairman, Jerry Hopkinson, said: “As Statutory Harbour Authority, our job is to make sure that we achieve the strongest possible freeport bid for the Tees Valley. In doing so we want the Region to achieve the best bangs for its buck – and by that I mean to secure extensive new investment in high-end manufacturing leading to long-term, secure and well-paid jobs for folks across the Tees Valley. That’s why we’ve carried out such an extensive consultation and invested heavily in the leading independent expertise from Mace and Womble Bond Dickinson. We will aim to carry that investment forward, as we develop our thinking around the freeports offering in the coming months should the Tees Valley Mayor’s Bid be successful.
“As further details of rival bids begin to emerge across the country, such as the bid being developed by Forth Ports, DPW and Ford on the Thames, it is clear that the competition will be tough. This is not the time to be complacent; we need to continue to incorporate any and every sound idea to maximise our chances of success and, if successful, we need to maximise the benefits that a freeport can bring.
“There is no doubt that listening seriously to the views of businesses and other organisations across the Tees Valley is vital for achieving these objectives, and we are hugely grateful to the 100 people we have written to today for their support. I’m certain that the Tees Valley Mayor shares our thanks and, alongside other organisations, we look forward to reviewing the draft final bid in the near future, with the time needed to maximise support and backing.”
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