A GOVERNMENT minister has seen first hand the impact investment in Teesside’s process sector is having.
Danny Alexander MP, Liberal Democrat Chief Secretary to the Treasury, visited Wilton-based Lotte Chemicals, where £6.7m from the first round of the Regional Growth Fund is going towards the construction of a new Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) manufacturing plant at the site.
The project is expected to create 55 new jobs and 300 during the construction.
The RGF is a £2.4bn fund op erating across England from 2011 to 2015. It supports projects and programmes that attract private sector investment to create growth and employment.
Mr Alexander, who toured the site with Redcar MP Ian Swales, said: “Manufacturing is very important to Teesside and I’m glad to see investment at Lotte coming after the return of steelmaking to Redcar.”
The investment at Lotte Chemicals is the latest good news for the site, which has seen a reversal of fortunes in recent years.
The facility was rescued by the Korean firm in 2010 after the previous owner, the Spanish owned company Artenius UK, went into administration.
Mr Swales added: RGF money and Enterprise Zones are already improving employment figures locally.”
Teesside is currently hoping for more good news and investment from the latest round of RGF funding. The Evening Gazette has made its own £30m bid to drive business growth and potentially create 3,600 jobs in the region.
The second phase of the Let’s Grow campaign was submitted last month. If successful, it would lead to the creation of a three-year scheme to invest in growing businesses of all sizes across Teesside, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear and County Durham.
Local Enterprise Partnership Tees Valley Unlimited has also endorsed a further 15 RGF applications, worth £68m, that could create or safeguard 1,800 jobs on Teesside over the next decade.
A decision on whether to approve the bids is expected in the late autumn by former Deputy Prime Minister Lord Heseltine’s committee.