This time next week, the Labour leaders of the five Tees Valley councils will vote on the most significant investment package in Teesside in our lifetimes. There is no overstating the importance of this: what is on offer will be genuinely transformational.
The updated Combined Authority Investment Plan, which sets out all of the spending priorities over the next decade, includes investment in the South Tees Development Corporation site, money for our town centres and saving Teesside Airport.
All these projects rely on the *unanimous* backing of members of the TVCA Cabinet, made up of Tees Valley Mayor, Ben Houchen, and the council leaders.
Yesterday Ben released details of the 10 year plan to turn the airport around, ensuring that local residents and businesses can once again be served our local international airport rather than travelling further afield.
The ambitious plans, which have been developed with the proposed experienced airport operator and other industry experts, aim to attract a low cost carrier, such as EasyJet, as well as additional seasonal, regional and charter flights, serving a projected 1.4 million passengers a year by 2022. You can read the full details at backbensplan.com
If any one of our council leaders rejects this deal, they are not only risking the closure of our airport, but also future investment and jobs. I hope that they will all make the decision to act in the best interests of the Tees Valley, securing the airport’s future and allowing the many other exciting projects featured in the investment plan to get underway.