Mayor unveils £250m plans to make Middlesbrough the next Digital City
Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston has unveiled plans for a £250m ‘digital campus’ which he says will lead to the creation of thousands of jobs.
The development is being jointly funded by the Tees Valley Combined Authority and Middlesbrough Council and today's plans are the “£45million first step” in the scheme. Preston has also opened the development up for private funding opportunities.
Office space is being sold from £18sqm, with units ranging from hot desks and three-person small business hubs to offices that can hold around 200 people. The development will include a helipad, cinema and a 200-seat lecture theatre for conferences.
Work is due to start in August, with a completion date of 2022. The building will be “the premier office destination for 100 miles”, according to the team behind it. As well as building three skyscrapers, the project has plans for a working farm on the site.
Preston said: "There's a lot of excitement, a lot of ambition and a lot of passion. I am resolute that we can do this. We're creating somewhere of exceptional ambition, exceptional quality and exceptional power.
"Lifestyle means everything to this project. We're going to have a gym, secure cycle storage and residential properties next door.
"We have plans for a healthy green space and community farm amid these skyscrapers. There will be chickens, bees and vegetables and volunteers will be getting involved with looking after it."
The digital industry is currently worth £700m to the Tees Valley region and the Mayor believes this can increase tenfold with the digital campus.
Preston is one of only two independent mayors in England and Wales and says he is staking his reputation on making Middlesbrough the "next Digital City".