August 2009 Appendix 1
ECONOMIC CLIMATE UPDATE REPORT
Following the report to Cabinet in December 2008 a regular update of the local economic
climate was requested to be reported to each Cabinet meeting. The following is a summary of
the positive and negative economic changes that have taken place since the previous 9th July
EMPLOYMENT AND BUSINESS EMPLOYMENT AND BUSINESS
? MGT Power, a ?500m Tees Renewable Energy Project at Teesport which will deliver the
UK’s largest biomass power station, and could create up to 750 jobs. ? Billingham corrosion engineering firm Global Anodes UK has completed its first contract in
China following a trade visit to the country, and will supply several new build projects.
These efforts at expanding business overseas have earned the technical director the ‘New
Exporter’ title at the North East Exporters Awards 2009.
? UPDATE work has begun on a major military project to build two Royal Navy Aircraft
Carriers, a project previously under threat due to rising costs. Billingham based McGill
Services has won a ?23m contract for modular cabins and wet spaces for the carriers, as
well as a ?4m order for furniture.
? AAA Precision – a small engineering company has taken a 2,000 sq ft workshop on
Cowpen Bewley Industrial Estate supported by a Grant for Business Investment (GBI) grant
of ?25,000, and has secured several small orders which it hopes to build upon. Tees Valley
Regeneration has assisted the company to locate premises, secure the grant, and has
engaged BENE to support with training and marketing grants.
? UPDATE - Planning application submitted by Gaia Power for a major biomass power
station at Billingham. If successful the project could create up to 500 jobs, and around
?200m of investment.
? Dow Chemicals has announced that it will shut its Ethylene Oxide (EO) and Glycol
production facilities at Wilton in January 2010 this has cast uncertainty over the 55 jobs the
? 125 jobs are set to be lost in Tees Valley after chemical company, Croda, announced it is to
close its Wilton operation as a direct result of the closure of Dows EO facility. The Wilton
staff, which include research and development, finance administration and sales operatives,
have been given the option of taking voluntary redundancy or if possible relocating to other
? Wilton’s Artenius plastics has been put into administration with the loss of 137 jobs after its
Spanish owners, Le Seda De Barcelona, reported a large pre tax loss. The firm has now
agreed to work with administrators to try and sell the site as a going concern, which would
protect a remaining 105 workers.
? UPDATE Workers at Petroplus oil refinery have entered into talks with the company’s
owners who had previously stated that they were looking to sell or convert the plant for
? UPDATE Political unrest in Iran has delayed the arrival at Billingham Haverton Hill Shipyard
of an oil rig construction contract secured by Tees Alliance Group (TAG) which is hoped
will create 1,000 jobs.
? UPDATE Eaglescliffe chromium plant operated by Elementis has now closed with the loss
of 138 jobs.
? UPDATE Corus has revealed that it is now speaking to other interested parties about the
under threat Teesside Cast Products (TCP) site. There is however no imminent rescue deal
? Stockton monitoring equipment firm Brulines delivered an upbeat trading update, with the
group seeing profits rise by almost 20%.
? Stockton’s Zoe Walton has been named one of the UK’s top achievers after overcoming life
threatening injuries to run two successful companies including Yarm letting agency Old Mill
Apartments and Clickhere, a management and training division of the Tanfield Group.
? Billingham based Nicholson’s Transport has added 175 customers to its books helping to
grow turnover from ?3.6m to ?4.5m during the year ending 31st May 2009.
? Following Lloyds Banking Group’s decision to cut 2,100 jobs nationally. The group which
employs 300 in Tees Valley said the planned redundancies would have minimal impact
? Yarm Traditional Sweets is a new retail presence on Yarm High Street.
? Thornaby Town centre has seen another new tenant, Subway, opening in July. ? Flooring Firm, Allied Carpets, has been put into administration, putting about 1,100 jobs
nationally under threat, including staff at their Stockton store. However administrators for
the firm stated that they had immediately sold 51 stores including the Stockton outlet to a
new firm Allied Carpets Retail Limited.
? Louise Bell of Ingleby Barwick was named Tees Champion in this year’s Entrepreneurs
Forum campaign ‘If We Can You Can’. She has national franchising plans for her business,
Healthy Glow, a mobile spray tanning business.
? Grainger Games opened its third store in the Borough in Billingham Town Centre on 22nd
July following store openings in Stockton and Thornaby.
? Leveys Home, a DIY decorating store, has opened on Stockton High Street creating 5 new
? UPDATE: Internet and mail order firm Toys Direct has completed its move to a 46,000 sq ft
warehouse on Thornaby’s Teesside Industrial Estate from its former base in Stokesley
creating 10 new jobs.
? The total number of JSA claimants within the Tees Valley again shows an increase, from
24,519 in May to 24,556 in June 2009.
Numbers on Jun-08 May-09 Jun-09 % Change % Change % JSA WA in in year
Stockton 5.2 36 0.6 2,585 71.3 3,626 6,211 6,247
Tees Valley 6 37 0.2 9,352 61.7 15,167 24,519 24,556
NE% 5.4 -1,113 -1.3 36,307 73.7 49,290 85,597 84,484
GB% 4.1 -12,804 -0.8 706,964 87.3 809,957 1,516,921 1,504,117
? In Stockton there was an increase in the number of JSA claimants in June of 36 against a
previous monthly figure increase of 3 in May 2009. This is the second month that has
shown the lowest rise in numbers, since early in 2008.
? The overall % of the Working Age Stockton residents on JSA for June has remained at 5.2%
since March 2009. Stockton continues to perform well, compared with 6% across Tees
Valley and 5.4% regionally. The National figure has remained at 4.1%.
New Claims to Jun-08 May-09 Jun-09 Change % Change in % JSA in year
Stockton 90 6.8 475 56.1 1,114 1,412 1,252
Tees Valley 680 15.1 1,312 41.3 4,092 5,170 4,483
NE% 1,672 10.0 5,617 50.7 14,930 18,377 15,204
GB% 43,782 14.0 125,922 67.8 249,315 355,479 296,409
? In June 1,199 people stopped claiming JSA in Stockton. This figure represents 96%, in
comparison to the number of people joining it as new claims. This shows a steadily
improving trend from the position in January, when people leaving the JSA represented only
45% of the number of people joining it as new claims.
? Stockton’s 3 Job Centres were notified of 1,003 new vacancies, and these included nearly
350 sales or customer service related opportunities; 165 cleaning and personal service vacancies; 80 in health or childcare; and 70 in construction/electrical/welding/driving
Vacancies Notified Jun-08 May-09 Jun-09 Change % Change %
in in year
Stockton -58 -5.2 -294 -21.8 1,003 1,680 1,056
Tees Valley -596 -15.0 -1,267 -27.3 5,268 3,378 3,274
NE% 1,766 12.9 -1,830 -10.6 20,596 15,500 13,339
GB% 36,855 15.5 -66,872 -19.6 415,627 274,445 253,363
? 570 of Stockton’s vacancies remained unfilled in June, but this is a 51% reduction on figures from 9 months ago. Some of the unfilled opportunities included 200 Sales and Customer service opportunities an 80 health and childcare occupations.
? The percentage of young people not in education, employment or training (NEET) has risen
from 9.8% in June 2008 to 10.6% in June 2009. This represents an increase of 45 young
? Financial services firms are more upbeat than they have been for two years despite
continuing falls in levels of business, income and profitability in the industry for the three
months to June 2009 as reported by the CBI business group. ? The data below provides a breakdown of the support provided by Business Enterprise North
East (BENE) during Quarters 1-4 2008/09, and Quarter 1 2009/10.
Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1
PRE START The number of individuals that are 261 285 294 324 344
investigating starting up a business that have been
assisted by BENE in the period.
START UP Number of new businesses that have been 14 11 29 34 30
established within the Quarter, and have had some
BUSINESSES ASSISTED The number of businesses 472 426 545 563 377
assisted during the period (including assisted start-
SKILLS INTERVENTION The number of businesses 86 85 81 121 172
that have had an intervention by a BENE skills broker
in the specified period
SURVIVALS Assisted Start-ups surviving 12 months - 34 25 80 57 41
Number of businesses that BENE have assisted, that are
still operating after 12 months.
? The data below provides a quarterly breakdown of the approved planning applications with a
business/economic related focus, e.g. offices, research and development, light/general
industry, retail, distribution and servicing.
Planning Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 TOTAL Q1 Applications 08-09 08-09 08-09 08-09 08/09 09-10 Major 14 6 6 1 1 5
Minor 15 7 3 4 1 0
Other 2 0 0 1 1 0
TOTAL 13 9 6 3 31 5
? The table below reflects the number of applications and approvals that have been submitted
to ‘Time2Buy’ in the Borough (Home Buy Direct, First Time Buyers Initiative, New Build
Home Buy) since its commencement on 1.4.09.
Town Applications Approvals Currently Applications Approvals
Preference living in
April April 13 10 11 8
May May 10 8 9 7
June June 18 6 19 7
July (up to July (up 16 10 12 9
TOTAL 57 34 TOTAL 51 31
ECONOMIC SUPPORT MEASURES
SUPPORT FOR BUSINESS
? The Lloyds Banking Group has committed itself to providing ?300m of new lending to the
regions highest performing companies this year - ?160m more than last year.
? Small and Medium sized companies in the Tees Valley struggling with cash flow are being
given access to a new ?100m fund as part of a UK-wide lending offer by Yorkshire Bank. It
is understood that more money may be made available if demand exists.
SUPPORT FOR PEOPLE
? Between April to June 2009, the Communities Fund has engaged with 379 people,
with 64 of those moving into full time jobs, which includes: drivers; handymen;
security; care assistants; joiners; plumbers; welders; catering assistants/bakers;
asbestos operatives; scaffolders. It also includes 1 chef, 1 IT engineer, 1
radiography assistant, 1 rigger,1 HR manager and 1 mobile crane operative.
HOUSING AND DEVELOPMENT
APPROACHES TO STOCKTON DISTRICT ADVICE AND INFORMATION SERVICE
General Q1 (Apr-June) Q1 (Apr-June) % Change
Welfare Benefits 1,450 2,327 + 60% Debt 1,748 3,198 + 83% Employment 297 517 + 74% Housing 340 680 + 100% Family 128 200 + 56% All Enquiries 4,589 7,956 + 73%
STOCKTON BOROUGH COUNCIL RESPONSES
? There are financial assistance packages available via Stockton Council’s Business
Development Team to help new and existing businesses in the Borough.
1. Pre-Start-up Grant - to promote and support entrepreneurship in the Borough, with
additional Council funded support in the remainder of the Borough. Available to
businesses that are in the process of starting up, to a maximum of ?1,000.
2. Capital Grant - for businesses which have been trading less than 3 years. Used to
help buy capital items that are essential to grow the business. Funding from the
Council is available for between ?1,500 and ?5000 on up to a 50/50 basis i.e. a
business must match any grant award. The business must be creating at least one
job (full time).
3. Capital Plus - for businesses that have been trading for more than three years.
Funding from the Council is available for between ?1,500 and ?5000 on up to a
50/50 basis, i.e. a business must match any grant award. The business must be
creating more than one job, agree to be involved in any planned PR, should also
register their business on the Forum web site, and where appropriate take part in the
Green Business Network environmental initiatives.
? On Monday 3rd August, Stockton Council wrote to all Business Rate payers in the Borough
with details of the Business Rates Deferral Scheme. On 31st March 2009, the Government
announced proposals that would enable businesses to defer payment of a proportion of the
increase in their rate bills between 2008/2009 and 2009/2010. The deferral scheme is
designed to provide relief to ratepayers that were facing 5% inflation related increases in
their bills and also those affected by the end of the 2005 transitional relief scheme. The
scheme allows ratepayers to defer 60% of the increase in their 2009/2010 bill to future
financial years. Details of the new Business Registration scheme for local companies via
the Stockton Business Forum were included in the mail out.