There will never be universal agreement, but all available evidence suggests that Teesside is the strongest identity ‘brand’ for the area. When the local newspaper asked people which was the name they would use to describe the region Teesside enjoyed by far and away the highest level of support—and Tees Valley the least.
When local Conservative MP James Wharton, now Minister for the Northern Powerhouse initiative, was elected he expressed his frustration at the identity confusion when he warned ‘Teesside as a whole needs to establish its true identity. It is difficult to persuade a foreign investor to put money into Teesside if it cannot even be found on a map.’
Now as the Minister playing a key role in delivering the Government’s devolution agenda he has made clear that ‘Teesside must be at the heart of the Northern Powerhouse.’
Fellow Teessider and Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Greg Clark echoes the same message, saying ‘I could not imagine a Northern Powerhouse that didn’t involve a very clear place for Teesside’
In her maiden speech new Labour Redcar MP Anna Turley told the House Commons ‘We already have a northern powerhouse and it’s called Teesside.’
One of our best-known business leaders Sir John Hall stressed the need for an end to the confusion when he warned ‘We need an identity to be a sub-region. It’s about leadership. If we’re not united we are weak.’
Another leading local business figure Neil Etherington, who has held senior posts in a number of inward investment organisations, says that Tees Valley ‘remains a wholly artificial construct. It fails to register at all with the community that it is supposed to serve, the audience that it is supposed to attract or the businesses that it is supposed to support.’
Our engineering, industrial and transport heritage are second to none. Our willing workforce is talented, skilled and of the highest calibre, and, our coast and countryside are awe-inspiring - but what really makes Teesside special is the friendliness of our people. If you live on Teesside you matter!
The name ‘Teesside’ is what we know and love, and, most importantly use naturally. It is high time that Teessiders were listened to, we should have a say in what the area is called rather than have this decided by politicians and bureaucrats, some of whom don't even come from our area. Surely this should be done before a small fortune is spent on promoting the failed Tees Valley brand again.
Don't misunderstand, TeessideTogether totally embraces the opportunities devolution will bring - we are 100% supportive, however we feel the debate on our identity should involve the people and needs to be had in order to resolve our longstanding identity crisis.
If you agree with Teesside like 91% of voters in our poll please display one of our posters in your window or in your car - IT HAS TO BE TEESSIDE!