Plans to launch a £250m digital city development in Middlesbrough, UK, have been unveiled by Mayor Andy Preston.

An initial £45m project phase includes office and residential towers followed by a digital campus, a 750-seat indoor amphitheatre and a 400-seat outdoor amphitheatre to host events such as lectures, cultural events, and entertainment.

The first phase of the construction includes three 20-storey towers, slated to be started by next year. It will create up to 400 construction employment opportunities.

The project will transform Teesside’s skyline and lead to the creation of 1,000 new jobs in the digital and creative industries in the future phases.

Preston said: “This is a £45m first step of a £250m scheme that will propel Middlesbrough on a journey to become the UK’s digital capital, bringing investment, jobs, and prosperity to the town.

“The sky’s the limit if we think big – and that’s exactly what we’re doing with this project. All of the old perceptions of Middlesbrough are going to go out of the window. We want our existing digital businesses to grow, regional businesses to realise this is the place to be, and national and international businesses to be attracted here. We can do that by ensuring we have the best office space with the best facilities and environment and the most positive mindset.”

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Planning approval will be sought within weeks. The £30m office development is being jointly funded by the Tees Valley Combined Authority and Middlesbrough Council.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “This is another transformational project for the Tees Valley which shows just what can happen when mayors work together. I’m delighted to support mayor Preston’s bold vision to develop Middlesbrough into the digital powerhouse of the UK – and send out a strong message that Boro’s on the up – literally.”

Houchen further added: “This is the kind of exciting and bold project that our local authorities can deliver through the Combined Authority’s Investment Plan. Through the funding which was agreed in January, we have already bought Teesside International Airport and more than half of the developable land at the South Tees Development Corporation as we push on with transforming Tees Valley.”