Partnerships which are key to the economic success of the Tees Valley have been showcased to Irish visitors at an event hosted by Teesside University Business School.
North East England Chamber of Commerce welcomed a delegation of Irish and regional businesses to the University so they could see at first hand innovative Tees Valley companies.
The delegates heard how Irish-UK trade sustains over 400,000 jobs, with Director General of the British Irish Chambers, John McGrane, speaking positively about the close links: He said: 'We are at our best when we work together.'
Pro Vice-Chancellor (Enterprise and Business Engagement) Professor Jane Turner OBE DL said: 'We were delighted to welcome businesses from the British Irish Chamber of Commerce to Teesside University and the region to showcase the brilliant businesses and capabilities that reside here.
'The Tees Valley is a great place to do business and as an anchor institution we’re very proud of the part that we play in its economic success.
'We have worked with nearly 800 organisations across 1,500 programmes and projects in the last 2 years and have developed a national and international reputation as a leading institution for working with business.
'Our facilities like the new £22.3milion National Horizons Centre and initiatives like DigitalCity are helping to catalyse the growth of vital sectors in the Tees Valley and this visit was a great opportunity to demonstrate the positive impact these collaborations are having in the region and how we are so keen to expand our reach and build mutually beneficial partnerships.'
Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston delivered the key speech, outlining his plans to put Middlesbrough on the map with a proposed £45m investment to build three 20-storey office, commercial and residential towers.
There were site tours of three of Tees Valley’s innovative sectors which were the Boho quarter, offshore logistics at PD Ports and Chemical industry at the Wilton site, to see the strengths and potential of working with the North East.
Tees Valley Mayor, Ben Houchen also reiterated how great it was to have the Irish delegation in the area and there was a real desire to continue the relationship.
Julie Underwood, Chamber international trade director said: 'Trade between the UK and Ireland has grown by 45% over the last 10 years, over a variety of sectors, and has a service export sector of £5.5bn with EU countries. Chambers exist to promote and support the international trade of our members and were delighted to have this positive visit to strengthen links with the Republic of Ireland.'
The networking lunch for the visitors and North East businesses was sponsored by Kmend.