Northern Powerhouse Minister Andrew Percy is encouraging even more tourists to visit the Tees Valley by highlighting its cultural attractions.

From the Temenos to the Infinity Bridge, the Tees Valley is already home to some of England’s finest cultural assets. To help the area attract more tourists and greater investment, central government is handing over powers to a new Mayor to boost the region’s tourism industry.

On 4 May, local people will have the opportunity to vote for a new Mayor for the Tees Valley. This new Mayor will have new powers to work with Arts Council England to make the most of the area’s local cultural assets.

On top of this, further powers to create jobs, raise skill levels, build homes and improve transport will be handed over to the Mayor. Like the Mayor of London, they will be able to represent the region on an international stage.

Northern Powerhouse Minister Andrew Percy said:

“The North is leading the way in this year’s biggest cultural events with the Great Exhibition of the North in Newcastle-Gateshead and the Hull City of Culture.

“The Tees Valley needs to capitalise on this success and attract even more tourists to the wider area’s distinct cultural assets like the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art and HMS Trincomalee.

“Rather than dictating how the Tees Valley can do this from London, we’re giving power to local leaders who know their areas best to boost the tourism industry. This is just one important reason for local people to vote for a new Mayor for the Tees Valley on 4 May.

Devolution spreads to the Tees Valley

Devolution deals are putting power in the hands of local people. They help communities take control of decisions that matter to them, with Combined Authority Mayors who will be accountable to the people they serve.

The Tees Valley Combined Authority, working with the Mayor, will exercise the following powers devolved to it:

  • developing cultural assets and the visitor economy;
  • control of a new £15 million a year funding allocation over 30 years;
  • supporting more young people to gain the skills required to progress into work;
  • extending high speed broadband; and
  • supporting growth sectors of the economy to generate more jobs.

Cultural assets of the Tees Valley

  • Temenos – The giant dual-ringed public art installation took four months to piece together on the banks of the River Tees near Middlesbrough’s Transporter Bridge, created by artist Anish Kapoor and structural designer Cecil Balmond.
  • Infinity Bridge – The pedestrian and cycle bridge is an architectural wonder and creates a reflection in the river forming the mathematical infinity symbol, hence its name.
  • Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art – The museum is a civic institution that promotes art as a tool for social change. It plays a key role in the cultural ecology of Teesside and is internationally recognised for its mission.
  • Cleveland Hills – The magnificent range of hills is a major geological boundary which contains fossil plants and dinosaur footprints.
  • Stockton High Street – A winner of the 2016 Great British High Street Competition, over the past few years it has been transformed into a giant urban performance area. For generations the town has laid claim to having the ‘widest high street in Britain’ and the physical environment now lends itself to a variety of performances and festivals.
  • HMS Trincomalee – Built 200 years ago in 1817, it is the oldest British warship still afloat and is berthed at the National Museum of the Royal Navy in Hartlepool.

Further information

The Tees Valley Devolution Deal was signed in October 2015.

The Tees Valley Combined Authority was created on 1 April 2016. It comprises:

  • Darlington Council
  • Hartlepool Council
  • Middlesbrough Council
  • Redcar and Cleveland Council
  • Stockton-on-Tees Council

Anyone wanting to register to vote can do so by 13 April here.