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Middlesbrough is well and truly open for business. We understand business and how to help it flourish – that is why we offer practical help with business rates and refit grants.

There are great opportunities to succeed in Middlesbrough for businesses of all types and sizes and Middlesbrough Council will always do all it can to enable that - from their very beginnings to becoming a thriving and prosperous long-term asset to the town.

Dave Budd
Middlesbrough Mayor

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The Heart of the
Tees Valley

There has never been a better time to invest in Middlesbrough.

Major investment projects totalling £500m has resulted in significant changes in the town. The outcome is the creation of over 4,000 new jobs, support for new and growing business, expanded learning and leisure opportunities and the building of 7,000 new homes.

This continuous investment is helping to make Middlesbrough a more attractive business prospect. Combine this with the energy and warmth of our people, a lower cost of living, improved housing offer, a rich cultural and leisure mix and prime sites available for development.

Throughout this guide you will discover more about what we have achieved and our ambitions for the town’s future.

The local business community is playing a large part in creating a feeling of excitement in the area and we have illustrated recent success stories as testament to this optimism.

And we want your business to be part of it!


Middlesbrough is the most significant town between Leeds and York to the South and Sunderland and Newcastle to the North. • 136,316 people can reach Middlesbrough within a 10-minute drive. • Over 700,000 people can reach Middlesbrough within a 30-minute drive. Middlesbrough’s retail offer draws in customers from a wide catchment area, including the a uent rural communities in North Yorkshire, as well as
providing an appealing alternative for the northern coastal towns and cities.


It welcomes thousands of people into its centre to work, shop, run their businesses, enjoy a range of leisure facilities and soak up the town’s cultural offer that includes an art gallery, concert hall, theatre and number of museums. The town’s vibrant events programme and ‘Boro’s’ Championship football team prove to be a big draw too.
25,450 people are employed from surrounding areas and commute to Middlesbrough every day. With millions of pounds of investment and exciting development underway, there is no better time to be part it.

While 139,100 people live within the Borough of Middlesbrough boundary, the wider Tees Valley has an estimated population of 666,200.

Population estimates: Mid 2014







Tees Valley is an area of innovation that contributes over £10 billion to the national economy. The area is a major hub for process industries and advanced manufacturing; benefitting from recent major investment in innovative new technologies, such as subsea, biologics and energy
from waste. The Tees Valley is an important location for UK manufacturing, with more manufacturing enterprises than the national average. Our existing 13,550 small to medium enterprises, and over 80 large companies, are spread across a wide
range of industries, from our key sectors of advanced manufacturing, process, low carbon and digital/creative to our enabling industries, such as ICT, transport and logistics and professional services. In addition to retail and leisure, health and social care and public services.

Tees Valley has attracted over £1.3bn of private sector investment over the past 4 years, driven by our skilled workforce, cost competitiveness, excellent infrastructure and increasing reputation as leading the way on new growth industries.

Stephen Catchpole
Managing Director
Tees Valley Unlimited

tees valley unlimited logo


£½ million Independent retail and leisure development Baker and Bedford Street.
£8m Town Hall redevelopment including £4m Heritage Lottery funding.
£12m Town centre hotel development – 138 room Holiday Inn Express.
£21m Sports Village.
£160m invested in Middlehaven including; an Urban Park, Boho Five, Transporter Bridge improvements.


Dock Bridge.
Urban Pioneers, self-build project based around an urban park setting.
Snow Centre.
Premier Inn Hotel.
Middlesbrough Rail Station.

The hotel market statistics for Middlesbrough were very buoyant and coupled with the support we received from the Council, it made sound business sense for us to open a new Holiday Express in the heart of the town.

Mark Winter, General Manager
Holiday Inn Express Middlesbrough

Holiday Inn Express logo


  • Middlesbrough Council became one of the first areas in the country to have its Local Plan adopted and approved by the Government.
  • 2,250 new homes will be built by 2018, 410 of which will be in council tax band D or above.
  • There has been a huge increase in house building, offering choice for all, from a £21k share in an affordable home, to £650k executive houses.


Charles Clinkard HQ

  • Regional retailer that boasts more than 30 stores across the UK.
  • £3m invested into a purpose-built 40,000 sq ft town centre HQ and distribution centre.

AV Dawson (logistics and transport)

  • £10m invested to build a state-of-the-art rail terminal which provides a direct link onto the East Coast Mainline.

Teesside Advanced Manufacturing Park

  • A purpose built £50m science and technology park.
  • Providing high quality workspace and a dynamic community for engineering companies in advanced manufacturing, technology, energy and production of components for the oil, gas and offshore wind industry.
  • The first development is a £7m Offshore Wind Validation Centre.


  • The University has 24,000 students, 2,400 staff and operates a quarter of a billion pound town-centre campus in Middlesbrough.
  • University campus has benefited from approx £250m of investment in recent years, including the £30m Campus Heart scheme.
  • Teesside University supports a total of 2,570 FTE jobs across the Tees Valley, North East and UK economies per annum. More than two thirds of these (1,757) are within Tees Valley.
  • The University contributes additional wealth to the local, regional and national economies as measured by Gross Value Added (GVA). It is estimated this contributes a total of £124 million GVA per annum.
  • The total direct, indirect and induced spending impacts associated with full-time international students and UK students from outside of the North East is approximately £18.9 million per annum. It is estimated this spending supports 158 FTE jobs per annum in Tees Valley and contributes additional wealth of £9.3 million per annum to the local economy as measured by GVA.


  • The College has invested over £100m on its new purpose built campus, including; MC6, the Sixth form Centre to accommodate a growing number of students; and £20m STEM Centre to increase skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
  • The College has seen a growth of 16-18 years old’s with STEM provision by 300 students.
  • The College has links with over 750 employers and are one of the region's biggest Apprenticeship providers, with over 650 Apprentices with employers across Teesside.
  • 93% of Middlesbrough College Students went on to positive destinations after graduating; into employment, further College & University education.

Middlesbrough is the third biggest retail shopping centre in the North East with over 160,000 sqm of retail floor space, is the Tees Valley’s retail heart.

Photograph of Wayne Hemmingway

The teahouse first opened in 2009 and the response was so fantastic we soon expanded and moved into much larger premises. The warmth and loyalty from our customers just shines through, we haven’t just built a business in Middlesbrough we have built a community and friendships.

Carli-Jayne McNaught, Owner
The Olde Young Teahouse
Winner of Independent Retailer of the Year 2014

Olde Young Tea House logo


  • 1,147,115 total retail catchment (CACI Retail Footprint 2015).
  • £256.7m p.a. comparison goods spend (CACI Retail Footprint 2015).
  • £4,353 p.a. average household comparison goods spend.
  • 35-44 - typical age profile (highest spend).
  • The town‘s four shopping centres together attract over 32 million visitors p.a.
  • Between £55 and £65 - calculated mean spend per visit but can rise to a higher number for a fashion-orientated visit.
  • Dwell time consistently recorded at a very healthy one to two hours.

Middlesbrough offers a wide range of high street brands to be expected in any city shopping centre or large high street. Marks & Spencer, Boots, Debenhams, and House of Fraser are all here of course, along with Next, Topshop, Topman, H&M, River Island, Primark and Miss Selfridge.

Middlesbrough also has a thriving independent retail sector that includes Baker Street, home to a variety of independent retailers, traders, eateries and bars. This is complemented by Linthorpe Road Central with its array of designer boutiques such as Psyche and Triads.

The redevelopment of Bedford Street enhances the town’s independent offer further.

Middlesbrough was recently named a ‘rising star’ in the Great British High Street competition to recognise the great strides it is making in improving the town centre.

Middlesbrough’s total trade area encompasses 1,147,115 shoppers who contribute £256.7m of comparison goods market potential to the town1 so it’s clear to see why we invested in Hillstreet Shopping Centre, complete with anchor retailers M&S, Primark and Debenhams in the heart of the Town Centre.

1CACI Retail Footprint 2015

Paul Wright, Director
NewRiver Retail – Owners of Hillstreet Shopping Centre

Photograph is of Peter Drabble, Centre Manager
Hillstreet Shopping Centre, Middlesbrough

NewRiver Retail logo


  • Middlesbrough works hard and plays hard. There is a vibrant evening economy and leisure offer that has a powerful draw for all age’s right throughout the week. It’s not all pubs and clubs either as entrepreneurs have been quick to explore niches in the marketplace for quality eating, micro-bars and music venues, to sit alongside some the well-known chains. The leisure offer includes:
  • An 11 screen cinema
  • A 2,000 capacity performance and events venue attracting big names in music and comedy
  • Large scale outdoor events ranging from the annual Christmas Light Switch On, to live music festivals, the multi-cultural Mela, 5k and 10k running events. For a full list of events
  • An emerging micro pub scene has burst into Middlesbrough’s independent quarter
  • At the heart of the pedestrianised University Campus, Southfield Road is a popular destination for nights out in Middlesbrough
  • £14.2m contemporary art gallery Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (mima)
  • £21 million Sports Village providing top level sporting facilities
  • Middlesbrough Football Club, also known as Boro, play Championship matches at the 34,700 seater Riverside Stadium, Middlehaven.

Nando’s first came to Middlesbrough over 10 years ago. The opportunity to be part of Middlesbrough Leisure Park combined with the town’s population mix made it an easy decision to open here. The people of Middlesbrough are clearly hungry for chicken as the restaurant has experienced consistent growth year on year.

Marcus Muscroft, Manager
Nando's, Middlesbrough

Nandos logo



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Long stay car park spaces

Middlesbrough led the way with innovative parking offers to increase footfall and dwell time. The town offers 2 hours free parking and reduced all day parking at a rate of £1.50 which are both available at a number of locations throughout the town.


A range of incentives and free practical support, advice and business network connections is offered by Middlesbrough Council, including:

Business grants/rate relief

  • Business Rates Incentive Scheme - 50% rate relief for 12 months for businesses moving into a vacant unit.
  • Empty Shop Refit Scheme – up to £5,000 fixtures and fittings, security, signage and refurbishment costs.

Business support programme

  • Retail mentoring programme for independent retailers.

Market Support

  • Town centre footfall monitoring system planned for May 2016.
  • Free town centre wifi planned for September 2016.

Other advice and support includes:

  • Property and site searches.
  • Business growth.
  • Recruitment.
  • Networking.
  • Town Centre Partnership.

For more information, please contact Middlesbrough Council’s Economic Growth team on or check out

Middlesbrough is here to support your business. We have communication forums and channels to keep your business up to date as well as powerful ways to promote your business.

Middlesbrough Means Business is a business network that connects the local business community through events and its digital portal.

Tees Valley Unlimited is the private and public sector Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) striving to deliver jobs and economic growth across the Tees Valley.

For general enquiries contact: 01642 524400 or

Love Middlesbrough promotes the town as a fantastic place to live, learn, work and visit.