Of­fice jobs boost

Middlesbrough Herald & Post - - FRONT PAGE -

A NEW of­fice de­vel­op­ment in Mid­dles­brough could be the big­gest jobs op­por­tu­nity in the town since the days of the Vic­to­rian Iro­nop­o­lis, it is claimed.

Plans to build five “grade A” of­fice build­ings in the town’s Cen­tre Square were ap­proved by Mid­dles­brough Coun­cil last week.

The au­thor­ity be­lieves the pro­pos­als will at­tracts hun­dreds of mil­lions of pounds of pri­vate in­vest­ment – and be a cat­a­lyst for the cre­ation of 5,000 jobs.

Coun­cil­lors have for­mally ap­proved the pro­pos­als and com­mit­ted to putting £74m in over the next four years.

Labour’s Jor­dan Blyth, coun­cil­lor for Kader ward, com­pared it to Mid­dles­brough’s for­mer glory as the world’s Iro­nop­o­lis.

He said: “I think this is the big­gest op­por­tu­nity since some­one looked at Es­ton Hills and said ‘I bet there’s iron up there’. I’m part of a gen­er­a­tion that does need jobs.”

He con­tin­ued his praise for the vi­sion of the pro­pos­als adding that it needed to hap­pen in a “city cen­tre”.

“I don’t want to call this the town any­more,” he said.

He de­scribed the pro­posal as “an ex­cit­ing op­por­tu­nity.”

De­vel­oper Ashall Projects is be­hind the scheme to cre­ate 210,000sq ft of Grade A of­fice ac­com­mo­da­tion, along with land­scap­ing and food and drink out­lets.

As well as the coun­cil’s £74m in­vest­ment, the suc­cess of the de­vel­op­ment will rely heav­ily on more than £600m from the pri­vate sec­tor and other parts of the pub­lic sec­tor.

Mark Ashall, Ashall Projects di­rec­tor, said: “Cen­tre Square has the po­ten­tial to be a cen­tre for busi­ness ac­tiv­ity ca­pa­ble of pro­vid­ing the best of­fice ac­com­mo­da­tion be­tween Leeds to the south and New­cas­tle to the north, pro­vid­ing a sig­nif­i­cant boost to the lo­cal econ­omy.”

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