Business people in Darlington braved the weather to find out how the new Tees Valley Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) can benefit companies and organisations across the area.
The event, run by two Darlington businesses, Latimer Hinks Solicitors and Recognition Marketing and PR, allowed firms the chance to hear from and ask questions of the new head of Tees Valley Unlimited, which was successful in bidding to run the LEP.
More than 45 people attended the event at Darlington College, where the importance of the LEP for Darlington businesses was outlined by the agencys new managing director, Stephen Catchpole.
Mr Catchpole told the gathering: "The simple task is to transform this economy back to levels where you can say we are becoming more and more prosperous year on year. That is the goal we are aiming for."
Anne Elliott, partner at Latimer Hinks Solicitors, one of the areas longest established law firms, said: "To get the best from the opportunities the new LEP will offer, companies in Darlington need to engage with the partnership, so we felt it was vital to create a platform for the business community to hear the benefits for themselves at this early stage."
Graham Robb, senior partner at Recognition, added: "The turnout, especially in such extreme weather, shows the desire from business people in Darlington to find out more about the LEP and how it can help the area. Hopefully, this will lead to real benefits for the borough of Darlington in partnership with the rest of the Tees Valley.
We need to take this initial dialogue further and establish a mechanism for the Darlington business community to influence the direction and decisions of the LEP."