These words came from managing director of Tees Valley Unlimited, Stephen Catchpole as he and the other speakers inspired over 150 business leaders at the sell-out event.
The event which was organised by Evolution LLP, celebrated business growth in the Tees Valley region, heard advice and support from local entrepreneurs, business leaders and government, including James Ramsbotham, Chief Executive of NECC.
Mr Ramsbotham said: “I am immensely proud of where our region is today, and so should we all. Places like ours and all of the great things your businesses are doing are what really make this country work.
The event which was booming with discussions of positive business experiences within the region was aptly hosted at Thirteen Group, Middlesbrough, where attendees enjoyed a view of Middlesbrough College, the Transporter Bridge and Temenos.
James continued: “This is the only region in the UK that consistently generates a positive balance of trade.
“And if that isn’t great enough, we are the only region out of the entire UK that has seen growth in employment this quarter.”
After, Stephen Catchpole spoke about the perception of Tees Valley, the regional and national economy, local success stories and available business funding and schemes.
He said: “One of our problems is the negative perception the rest of the country has of Tees Valley and we need more events like this to show them they are wrong.
“Unlike other regions, we are moving towards an ideal economy and a lot of the work we do contributes towards the national economy too.
“We have a lot to be thankful for, a thriving subsea sector, digital technology hubs, the launch of the exciting national biologics centre and more.”
He continued: “Businesses here have a lot available to them, currently you have access to the Let’s Grow fund, Regional Growth Fund, Skills for Jobs Scheme and lots more. It’s important you’re benefiting from them.”
In conclusion, Stephen said: “I believe with the skills, resourcefulness, innovation and resilience of Tees Valley people, our region has more than enough potential to be the best part of this country.”
Martin Barber, managing partner at Evolution, who came up with the idea of Big Up Tees Valley said: “The aim of this event was to spread the word about Tees Valley and the fact that it’s a great place to live, work and do business.
“We were all here today to share the secret of success and that’s what we did. After extremely positive feedback, we are keen for the event to become an annual occasion.”
Other special guests included Chris Simpson from UKTI, Jo Hand from Jo Hand Recruitment, Steve Thompson from Teesside University/DigitalCity, Iain McPherson from Big Bite Creative and Caroline Theobald from Bridge Club Ltd .
The event also consisted of a Q&A session, networking and a complimentary buffet lunch.
For more information on Evolution LLP, visit: http://www.evolutionllp.com/