Key business leaders have visited Teesside University to hear about its work supporting the growth of the Tees Valley economy.

John Foster, the Policy Unit Director of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) visited the University’s Middlesbrough campus alongside Sarah Glendinning, the North-East Regional Director of the CBI.

The pair met with senior figures from the University to discuss business issues affecting the region and the impact Teesside University can make through its graduate talent, research and knowledge exchange.

The CBI represents 190,000 businesses, across all sectors, which together employ nearly seven million people and shapes the UK economy in a manner which works for business.

As an anchor institution driving economic growth in the Tees Valley and beyond, Teesside University plays an integral role supporting the regeneration of the North East economy through extensive business engagement and enterprise support.

The meeting at Teesside University discussed areas of synergy between the two organisations and their shared ambitions.

There was also discussion about the main challenges in the regions, areas for engagement with public policy and issues facing industry.

Professor Craig Gaskell, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Enterprise and Knowledge Exchange), said: “As a forward-looking, industry-focused University our mission is very much aligned to the aims and values of the CBI.

“This meeting was an excellent opportunity to look at how we can pool our shared strengths to deliver real change to our communities.”

Dr Warren Harrison, Dean of Teesside University International Business School, added: “Teesside University has enjoyed a long partnership with the CBI and we look forward to continuing this relationship.

“This meeting was an excellent opportunity to look at practical ways in which we can work together to support business and industry in the region to overcome future challenges and take full advantage of opportunities that may arise.”

CBI Policy Director John Foster said: “Close collaboration between education and business will be vital if the UK is to overcome long-term skills challenges and properly prepare future generations for the industries of tomorrow.

“Our visit to Teesside University provided a valuable opportunity to explore these issues and discuss our shared ambitions for growth within the North East economy.”

The CBI visit to Teesside University took place just before its prestigious business dinner at Crathorne Hall, near Yarm, which brought together senior leaders from across the North East to share their experiences and challenges.