A town synonymous with the chemical and steel industry today announced its intention to become a thriving digital hub with a £250m living and working tech campus which includes an amphitheatre, rooftop terrace and helipad as well as a working farm.
Independent Middlesbrough Mayor and entrepreneur Andy Preston outlined the details of his plans to develop three skyscrapers in the heart of Teesside which looks to combine a thriving digital sector with state of the art residential apartments.
The digital industry is currently worth £700m to the Tees Valley region, but the mayor believes this can increase tenfold thanks to the vision for this digital campus.
One of only two independent mayors in England and Wales, Andy Preston is staking his credibility on the plans to make Middlesbrough the next Digital City. He 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.”
Preston likened the re-urbanisation of Middlesbrough town centre to that of Manhattan and has worked hard to instil green credentials into his masterplan.
He said: “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 development is being jointly funded by the Tees Valley Combined Authority and Middlesbrough Council, with today’s plans being the £45m first step in a quarter of a billion pounds scheme. Preston has also opened the development up for private funding opportunities.
Office space is being sold from £18 per sq ft, 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 for high profile visitors, a cinema and a 200-seat lecture theatre for huge conferences from speakers across the UK.
The building will be the premier office destination for 100 miles and will lead to the creation of thousands of jobs.
Commencing work in August, the Teesside skyline will have changed forever by its completion in 2022.