A £250million project that aims to establish Middlesbrough as the UK’s main digital city, potentially leading to the creation of more than 2,000 jobs, has been unveiled.
The plans include building the three highest office and residential towers for 30 miles as part of an initial £45m phase of the project that will transform Teesside’s skyline and, it is claimed, lead to 1,000 new jobs in the digital and creative industries, rising to 2,000 jobs in future phases.
Middlesbrough mayor Andy Preston and Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen presented the bold vision for the town which will benefit from what is claimed to be the biggest single investment in Middlesbrough’s history.
Construction of the first phase, which will include three 20 storey-towers, will start next summer and create up to 400 construction jobs. It will see the creation of a digital campus, a 750-seat indoor amphitheatre beneath a glass atrium and a 400-seat outdoor amphitheatre to host events such as lectures, cultural events and entertainment.
Mayor Preston said: “For the next few years my obsession, my mission, my purpose on this planet is to get Middlesbrough on track as the digital city for the UK. This is a £45m first step of a quarter of a billion pounds scheme that will propel Middlesbrough on a journey to become the UK’s digital capital - bringing investment, jobs and prosperity to the town.
“The sky’s the limit if we think big – and that’s exactly what we’re doing with this project. We want our existing digital businesses to grow, regional businesses to realise this is the place to be, and national and international businesses to be attracted here. We have the money and investors in place. Planning consent will be sought within weeks and construction will start next summer.”
The £30m office development is being joint funded by the Tees Valley Combined Authority and Middlesbrough Council. This includes £26.5m from the Combined Authority’s £588m Investment Plan which was agreed earlier this year and sets out a ten-year vision to transform the region. The council will contribute £3.5m, with a further £15m investment in residential accommodation by a third party consortium.