Ben Houchen was elected as the Mayor of the Tees Valley in May 2017. The Tees Valley area covers the five boroughs of Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar & Cleveland, and Stockton-on-Tees.
Ben is the Conservative politician with the largest electoral mandate in the North of England and is implementing an ambitious agenda to increase economic growth and prosperity. He is helping to create a strong local economy by supporting skills job creation, and banging the drum for investment in Tees Valley.
As Mayor his policy platform puts the people of the Tees Valley first. His priorities include bringing Teesside's airport back into public ownership, supporting local businesses to grow, delivering the housing that the region needs, ensuring an effective structure for Cleveland Police, developing home-grown talent.
He chairs the South Tees Development Corporation, the single largest development opportunity in the UK, which is bringing investment and jobs to the former SSI steelworks site. He is spearheading bold plans to improve local transport infrastructure, including major redevelopments of Darlington and Middlesbrough stations.
Ben is Teesside born and bred. A qualified solicitor, he has worked for two local firms specialising in commercial litigation and employment law. In 2016 Ben founded BLK UK – an international sportswear business, which supplies clothing to amateur and professional clubs. Ben has stepped down from his position at BLK and is dedicating all of his time to his Mayoral role.
Ben lives in Yarm with his wife Rachel, a French teacher at a local secondary school.