The development involves a wide range of partners. Credit: Stockton Council

Progress for Stockton-on-Tees health cluster vision

Proposals to develop a care and health innovation zone across 272 brownfield acres at Teesdale Business Park and Tees Marshalling Yards will be developed further, following cabinet approval.

If realised, the proposals rubber-stamped by Stockton council’s cabinet last week will see the site become a hub for social care and health services, sector-specific businesses, research, teaching and learning facilities and housing to meet local needs.

Cllr 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.”

A partnership board will now be set up 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.

Cllr Cooke continued: “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.”

Teesdale Business Park sits close to Thornaby station, and was built on the former Teesdale base of ironworks firm Head Wrightson.

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 redevelopment of Stockton’s riverside. These proposals are hugely exciting and a game-changer for Teesdale and Stockton.”

The proposals follow the recent opening of the £35m-plus BIOS facility at Teesside University.

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