October 14, 2019 @ 13:13 by Richard Dawson
A new £250 million project to transform Middlesbrough into the UK’s leading ‘digital city’ has been unveiled at an event at the Riverside Stadium.
The first phase will cost £45 million and see the construction of three 20-storey towers for business and residential use, which will be the tallest structures within 30 miles.
Additionally, it will include the development of a ‘digital campus’, a 750-seat amphitheatre with a glass roof, and a 400-seat outdoor amphitheatre.
It’s predicted that this initial phase of the project will create 1000 jobs in the digital and creative industries, rising to more than 2000 roles at latter stages.
The building of the towers and campus will begin in the summer of 2020, creating a further 400 jobs in the construction sector.
The plans were unveiled at an event hosted at the Riverside Stadium by Middlesbrough mayor Andy Preston and Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen.
Mayor Preston said: “This is a £45 million first step of a quarter of a billion pounds scheme that will propel Middlesbrough on a journey to become the UK’s digital capital, bringing investment, jobs and prosperity to the town.
“We want our existing digital businesses to grow, regional businesses to realise this is the place to be, and national and international businesses to be attracted here.
“We can do that by ensuring we have the best office space with the best facilities and environment, and the most positive mind set.”
Mayor Houchen added: “I’m delighted to support mayor Preston’s bold vision to develop Middlesbrough into the digital powerhouse of the UK and send out a strong message that Boro’s on the up — literally!
“Our region is already home to some world-leading digital businesses, and we’ll be able to offer cutting edge accommodation in the heart of the oldest part of Middlesbrough, bringing well-paid jobs to the town.
“This will be adjacent to two new residential towers, new shops and facilities which will make this a great place to live as well as work.”
The development is being funded by the Tees Valley Combined Authority and Middlesbrough Council, including £26.5 million from the Combined Authority’s £588 million Investment Plan, which was agreed earlier this year and sets out a ten-year vision to transform the region.
The council will contribute £3.5 million, with a further £15 million investment in residential accommodation by a third-party consortium.