Annabel Turpin, chief executive and artistic director of Stockton’s ARC and Tees Valley Local Enterprise Partnership Culture lead.
Jane Imrie

Hundreds of Tees Valley businesses supported by million pound scheme

More than 500 firms across Tees Valley have been supported by a new fund to help the hospitality and tourism industries.

The Welcome Back Fund, launched by Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen, has been fully subscribed less than a week after opening.

Mayor Houchen commented: “Our hospitality sector is hugely important to our economy, it employs thousands of people and represents a swath of small and medium sized businesses, supporting these amazing firms is a key part of my plan for jobs and recovery.

“The response to our Welcome Back Fund shows just how important it was to get the scheme up and running as quickly as possible so that our pubs, bars, restaurants and other hospitality and leisure businesses could get on and prepare to reopen.

“I’m delighted we could provide a lifeline to so many businesses that bring such joy to people across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool, and also help those working in our fantastic hospitality and attractions get back into work quickly, with the knowledge it’s a safe environment to be.”

To further help businesses, the Mayor has appointed Annabel Turpin, chief executive and artistic director of Stockton’s ARC and Tees Valley Local Enterprise Partnership Culture lead, to head up a task force to support the recovery of the culture and tourism sector in the region.

Annabel Turpin commented: “The impact of the pandemic on businesses has been difficult for everyone, but particularly in areas where people are coming face-to-face with members of the public daily.

“Even those that have weathered the storm and not been forced to close by the government have seen severe knock-on impacts as the industry slows down.

“I’m determined to help get our recovery back on track by working with the Mayor and other partners across Tees Valley to put together actions which will target exactly what our culture and tourism industries need to grow, create jobs and keep the region a great place to live.”

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