A town for the 21st century
THIS year has been a landmark year in the drive to boost Middlesbrough’s image as a town for the 21st century.
A thriving and vibrant community is being energised by the world-class projects in the pipeline and host of business and cultural innovations.
Middlesbrough is also in the forefront of a campaign to promote healthy lifestyles, being one of only nine places in the country to be chosen as a Healthy Town.
Middlesbrough recently secured more than £4m over the next three years to address current and potential health issues and help persuade people to adopt healthier habits.
Mayor Ray Mallon said: “Over the last five to six years, Middlesbrough has made real progress in regenerating the town so that we have become a destination and a place for the seven million-plus people who live within one and a half hours of us.
“However this physical regeneration of the town is all but pointless if we do not address the biggest problem in Middlesbrough - people’s health.
“Alcohol, smoking and fatty food are the biggest causes of poor health and areas we must address as a matter of urgency if Middlesbrough is to move on to the next level.
“It is very simple - people have to look after their bodies just like they would look after their home or car or anything else that they value.”
Middlesbrough’s Boho zone is going from strength to strength. Boho One, the flagship building in the project was begun early in the year and is now nearing completion. Boho Three, a series of 12 artists’ studios in renovated buildings at the railway station, is now open and units are being let to fine artists at affordable rents through Platform Arts Ltd. Sculptors and painters have moved in and are busy working in the heart of the Boho zone.
DigitalCity Business has also launched its innovative Business Growth Workshop system, an 18-week course for digital and creative businesses wanting to learn more about the process of doing business.
The first group of 12 businesses successfully completed the course and the second group are now mid way through.
Middlesbrough College has moved in to its new building in Middlehaven. The launch of the new facilities heralds the start of a new era for further education in Middlesbrough.
The state-of-the-art, purpose-built college provides learners with the most up-to-date facilities and equipment and a fantastic opportunity to go on to achieve their full potential.
Alongside the projects mentioned above, Middlesbrough is the North-east’s fastest growing retail centre with more than £50m in investment. New stores which opened in Middlesbrough during 2008 included Monsoon and La Senza. Aldi, Boyes and Tesco Extra have opened within the last month.
Travelodge has just opened a new 55-bedroom hotel in the centre of Middlesbrough above the new Aldi store. The new hotel, on Newport Road, represents a £2m investment in Middlesbrough and has created 20 new jobs.
A TV advertising campaign with prime time viewing slots is running until Christmas to promote shopping, eating out and the exciting town centre events programme.
It is all being marketed under the Love Middlesbrough this Christmas banner, tying in with the recently launched Middlesbrough Image Campaign, which is being backed by Middlesbrough FC.
Throughout the year there have been many events for the people of Middlesbrough to enjoy and to attract visitors to the town centre. These included the spectacular giant models of the Ugly Bug Ball and Sarruga Dragons.
Thousands of runners and walkers completed the Middlesbrough Tees Pride 10k Run and 3km Fun Run, and Santa and his reindeer were in town to launch the festive season and the Snozone gave visitors a taste of winter sports without having to travel to Biarritz.
Healthy eating is one of the keys to a brighter future.
Sarruga Dragons entertain the crowds