Ambitious proposals to develop a Care and Health Innovation Zone in Stockton have been given a stamp of approval.
The vision sets out proposals to create a nationally significant cluster of social care and health provision at Teesdale Business Park and the nearby Tees Marshalling Yards.
If realised, the proposals will transform the area, developing the 110 hectare brownfield site into a home for social care and health services, sector-specific businesses, research, teaching and learning facilities and housing to meet local needs.
Councillors considered the plans at Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council’s Cabinet meeting last night, (Thursday, October 12). Approval was given to further develop the plans and set up a partnership board with representatives from Teesside University, Tees Esk and Wear Valley NHS Trust, North Tees NHS Trust, the Education Training Collective (Stockton Riverside College) and the Tees Valley Combined Authority.
Councillor Nigel Cooke, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Housing said: “This is an exciting, once in a generation opportunity which, if realised, could deliver a nationally significant zone which brings a host of benefits for the Borough and the whole of the Tees Valley.
“Our ambition is to work with partners to grow all aspects of the health, public-health and social care sector, and their supply chains, in Teesdale and the Marshalling Yards to make us a recognised UK cluster.
“The creation of a zone will help to reduce health inequalities within the Borough and Tees Valley. We hope that the site will be used for pioneering, modern health provision, which will better meet our residents’ needs.
“Creating a Care and Health Zone will also help address skills shortages and there’s also huge potential for boosting the Borough and Tees Valley’s economy with projections showing that the site has the potential to deliver thousands of jobs.
“We hope our vision will also breathe new life into Teesdale, to create a vibrant and dynamic place to live and visit.
“And by developing these central sites which span the river we hope to improve connectivity between Stockton Town Centre, Teesdale and Thornaby Station too with better public transport, cycling and walking links.
“The next steps will see us continue to drive forward our plans, working with partners on a series of workstreams to further develop the proposals.”
Tees Valley Mayor, Ben Houchen, said: “I’m working hard with our partners to bring a Care and Health Innovation Zone to Teesside.
“Investing in our health care system is critical to providing quality services that local people deserve and that is why I am supporting this project.
“These ambitious plans will not only transform the Teesdale site but will improve healthcare, grow the economy and provide new good quality local jobs in Teesside.”
Grant Glendinning, Chief Executive and Group Principal of the Education Training Collective, said: “The breadth of this vision spans skills, employment opportunities, improved health services and regeneration.
“Through education partners, we’ll be creating innovative training pathways to recruit and upskill local people to work in vital care and health professions. At the same time, we’ll be bringing modern clinical services, and more, as part of a significant re-development of Stockton’s riverside. These proposals are hugely exciting and a game-changer for Teesdale and Stockton.”
Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of Teesside University, Professor Paul Croney, OBE, added: “This Care and Health Innovation Zone is great news for our region and will enable us to work with our strategic partners to provide significant opportunities for teaching, research and collaboration.
“Teesside University has an outstanding reputation for healthcare education provision and has recently opened BIOS, a new £39.7m health and medical facility, to further support the region’s future NHS workforce.
“We are delighted to be working collaboratively and look forward to bringing our skills, expertise and insight to this exciting new project.”
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