The Tees Valley Economy
This review is produced by the Tees Valley Joint Strategy Unit, an organisation set up by the four Boroughs of the former County of Cleveland, together with the Borough of Darlington. The purpose of the review is to highlight some of the issues of relevance to the local economy which have been prominent over the previous month. It is not intended to provide a comprehensive discussion of everything happening in the local economy, but provides a brief review of the most salient issues, offering relevant comment where appropriate. ________________________________________ If you would like more information on any of the items raised, or receive copies of this newsletter each month, please give Tim Bounds a ring on 01642 264822 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. This newsletter can be sent via e-mail (in Word 6 format), or can be downloaded from our Web site (in Adobe Acrobat .PDF format) www.teesvalley-jsu.gov.uk ________________________________________
Major Bahrain Contract for K Home: A collaboration between K Home Engineering of Thornaby and engineering consultants Bechtel has resulted in a share of a £1.18 billion contract to expand the Aluminium Bahrain (Alba) aluminium smelter in Bahrain. The project will keep employees in the Middle East in work for up to four years and 65 new jobs will be created, taking K Home’s staff up to 315, with 105 working overseas. The company has also won a contract worth £2 million from British Alcan to work on its smelter improvement programme at Lynemouth.
• The North East consultancy Lattice Energy Services has moved to new offices at Lingfield Point, Darlington from Sunderland. The company was formerly part of British Gas, and the NE consultancy was formed three years ago. It provides design, construction and project management services for energy projects. • DuPont Textiles & Interiors has announced a £30 million investment programme for its Nylon Intermediates Wilton site. The investment will modernise the plant and should enable DuPont to compete in the global market more successfully. Work has already started, has provided 400 construction jobs and should be completed by October. • Lucite International has announced that it is to invest £10 million at its Cassel Works site in Billingham. The planned overhaul and routine maintenance work will start in September and last approximately two months. There will be jobs for 500 contractors while the work is being carried out.
NE has High Level of Exports: Latest figures for the final quarter of 2001-02 financial year, compiled by Trade Partners UK, reveal that the total value of goods and services exported from the North East was around £8 billion. The region also stayed top in England for the value of exports per exporting company at £3.195 million, and maintained third place in England (4th place in the UK) for the value of exports per employee, at £6,983. There are 2,070 exporting companies based in the North East, about 75 percent of whose goods go to the EU and 56 percent come from the automotive, chemicals and pharmaceutical sectors.
• The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors’ latest report, on the second quarter of this year, indicates that, in contrast to the gloom in the manufacturing industry, construction is holding its own. Growth in surveyors’ workloads was strongest in the North, where a general shortage of private housing stock has prompted house builders to increase their output, in spite of having difficulty in recruiting bricklayers and site managers. • A new study, called the “2002 Affluentials Report” produced by Barclays, puts Stockton South third in a regional list of high earners. The study, of eight million Barclays customers, estimates the percentage of people earning over £60,000 in each parliamentary constituency. Stockton South, which includes Yarm, has 3.1% of such people. However, nowhere in the NE features in the National Top 50. Redcar and Middlesbrough are both in the bottom 50, with only 0.9 percent of people earning £60,000. Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, Sedgefield and Darlington are shown in the centre of the list, with 2.1%, Stockton North with 1.9% and Hartlepool with 1.7%. • MB Inspection (formerly Torch) has won a multimillion contract from BP at its Grangemouth plant. The company employs 280 at five bases in the UK, including 72 at Stockton. The Teesside branch was formerly owned by Northern NDT.
Brambles To Expand: Brambles Foods intends to
expand its Riverside Park, Middlesbrough factory. If planning permission is granted, this will bring the number of production lines to 10, and create an extra 100 jobs. In the meantime, the company is recruiting 50 seasonal jobs, making a total of 220 staff. • Darlington company, Cummins, has been carrying out an operating review over the last year which has led to more redundancies. From the beginning of September onwards, 65 temporary jobs are being lost, which the company is hoping will be the last. The downturn in manufacturing generally is being blamed for Cummins’ current problems. • Hartlepool’s Centura Foods factory will finally close at the end of August, with the loss of the remaining 140 jobs. However, 30 engineers will stay on for another two months until the shutdown is complete. The company, which was established before the Second World War, is to transfer its Sharwoods Chutney production to Droylsden, Manchester, and the new owners, Etonfield Holdings, will take the site over at the end of the year. • Aveco (Teesside) is to build a second shallow water barge to transport wind turbines, from Newport to Southampton, from where they will be shipped across the world. The value of the contract is not known.
Uptons To Be New Psyche: The store that once
was Uptons, in Linthorpe Road, Middlesbrough, is to be
transformed into a rival to Harvey Nichols by the owner of Psyche, Steve Cochrane. Mr Cochrane is investing over £2 million to totally refurbish the present building and will then transfer both of his present stores under one roof. When refurbishing work is completed, by about the end of next year, over 40 new jobs will be created, taking the total to 70. • When Au Naturale opens in Stockton at the end of August, it will be the 100th store for the Scottish-based retailer. The store sells soft furnishings, kitchenware, frames, prints, ornaments, candles and bathroom accessories. Around 20 new jobs will be created. • A new coffee shop/wine bar is to open at Navigation Point, Hartlepool. To be called The Coffee Roppor Bar, it is the brainchild of two cousins, Neil and Mark Evans, who have taken the idea from the London coffee shop and wine bar culture and transferred it to premises at Navigation Point, where 6 new jobs have been created. • Part of furniture retailer Conroys, which went into administration with debts of over £5 million, has been bought by Furniture Village. Although 30 jobs have been lost, it is hoped that 40 have been saved, and three of the seven Conroys stores (previously closed) will reopen once re-branding has taken place. Furniture Village says it will honour customers’ orders. The administrator, Ernst & Young, has said that there has been considerable interest in the rest of Conroys, including the Birtley Head Office and stores in Leeds, Middlesbrough and North Shields. • Yorkshire Linen is opening a new store at the former Petsmart unit on Portrack Retail Park, off Holme House Road, Stockton. The 950m². store is the company’s largest and 30 new jobs will be created. • The new branch of Market Cross Jewellers has opened opposite Debenhams in Linthorpe Road, Middlesbrough. Designer jewellery and watches by Omega, Gucci, Versace and Breitling, china, glass and giftware are all available at the store. Nine new jobs have been created. • The Designer Room stores, which went into administration in June, have been saved from closure in Hartlepool and North Tyneside. Administrators have stated that buyers are confidently expected for the two outlets and that no further stores in the group are to be closed. • A new nightclub/pub/restaurant is at present being fitted out on the ground floor of the Centre North East building, on the corner of Albert Road and Corporation Road, opposite Middlesbrough Town Hall. Regent Inns has taken over the site and hopes to open its “Walkabout” venue in October. It is expected that 55 jobs will be created. • Bells is to open a new store in Acklam shortly which will create 25 new jobs.
More Staff for Churchills: Churchill Insurance’s
customer services department at Teesdale is recruiting another 90 staff, taking the number up to 770. The company is also adding 30 staff to its home-working base. The company, which made a £56 million profit last year, has doubled its UK call centre staff in two years. • AskAlix, the on-line business directory based at the Logistics Centre, Eaglescliffe, is preparing to expand. Its parent company, now to be called MI International, has already taken on 10 new staff, with a further 26 to follow later in the year, bringing its staff numbers up to 100. AskAlix was named top company in the Deloitte & Touche Northern Region Fast 50 awards. • Marketing and design agency House of Type has moved from Guisborough to Corporation Road, Middlesbrough. It has recently gained new contracts with Connexions, Ebac, Endeavour Housing and the Business Furniture Centre. Two new staff have been recruited, making a total of nine. • Two new children’s nurseries, one at Brambles Farm and one at Coulby Newham, will provide childcare places for up to 160 children and create 40 new jobs. The Government’s New Opportunities Fund (NOF) is providing £1.95 million towards creating 320 new childcare places in Middlesbrough. The Brambles Farm Nursery should open before Christmas and the Coulby Newham one next Spring. Cash from the NOF means that six new nurseries will open in Middlesbrough over the next two years. • Hartlepool Borough Council is to close its training centre at Tunstall Court, with the loss of around 19 jobs. The centre runs Modern Apprenticeships and a wide variety of other courses for young people. Courses may be offered elsewhere for the hundreds of students who attended the centre. Some of those made redundant may be offered new positions within the Council. Legal and Business Issues News: This month’s issue of the Legal and Business Issues Newsletter includes items on: The new E-Commerce Regulations which have just come into force The provisions on “spam” and “cookies” in the new Directive on Privacy and Electronic Communications The bringing into force of the new “CHIP 3” Regulations on the packaging of hazardous chemicals The Government consultation on the proposed hand-held mobile phone ban The Government consultation on tidying up the law on unfair terms in contracts The Government consultation on the proposed European Regulation on Sales Promotions For information on the Legal and Business Issues stories above, please contact Sally Bainbridge on (01642) 264855 e-mail: email@example.com. For information on other stories, please contact Tim Bounds (address above).
Director of Unit: J.E.Lowther B.A., M.Sc., Dip.T.P., M.R.T.P.I., C.I.M. P.O. Box 199 Melrose House, Melrose Street Middlesbrough TS1 2XF