Teesside Roundtable event

We recently brought together a group of corporate advisers, funders, bankers, and lawyers together with one of Teesside’s business leaders.

Led by Lee Humble, our Corporate Finance Associate Partner, and chaired by Andrew Moorby, Managing Partner and Head of our Teesside office, the roundtable focussed on a review of the last twelve months and a look forward into 2022 and beyond, with consideration of the role the region will play in the wider UK economic recovery.

We discussed how Teesside can unlock further potential in the area over the coming years. Teesside is thriving in the region with businesses continuing to grow in a wide range of sectors as well as political commitment and investment.

2021 has certainly been a busy one for the corporate finance professionals. Despite the pandemic, business owners continued to explore Private Equity and funding opportunities, while large corporates (in the UK and overseas) continued to look to acquire growth businesses in the region. And this shows no signs of slowing down.

All parties reported a buoyant year but pointed to significant risks post Covid including the rise of inflation that all felt would be inevitable, as the Chancellor looks to pay back the billions spent during the pandemic. The new expectations of the workforce and challenges of hybrid working including skills and labour shortages were also discussed. Whilst others pointed to the fact that training junior members of staff was difficult remotely, as was project management and team collaboration.

Ben Williamson, FD of PCE, a multi-national distributor of industrial valves headquartered on Teesside also discussed the HGV driver shortage and customs delays linked to both Brexit and the pandemic. He also touched on the challenges social distancing posed in the sector saying it had ‘caused logistical, resource and time management issues on a huge scale.’

Martyn Pullin Restructuring and Advisory Partner from FRP Advisory, said he expected to see a spike in insolvencies next year but was confident that ‘those businesses that planned well during the last 18 months, would be OK taking advantage of government support and breathing space to adapt their businesses to new business environment.’

Lee Humble said:

“The roundtable was a great opportunity to share our views on the turbulence of the last 18 months and discuss the challenges we have all faced as well as reflect on a period of recovery and the role Teesside plays in this. It was also fantastic to see that everyone agreed what huge potential Teesside has. You only have to look at the investment in Offshore Wind, Hydrogen Power, the treasury, access to London to see what is possible.”

Andrew Moorby added:

“The Tees Valley Mayor has played a hugely significant role in putting Teesside firmly into national conversations, which have led to some amazing levels of investment for our region, what will be interesting to watch is how that investment leads to infrastructure over the coming years and how that potential can be truly unlocked to bring Teesside front and centre of the UK.”