Shared vision to improve opportunities for people in the Tees Valley

An exciting new partnership has been formed between Teesside University and Thirteen Housing which will see them work together to share learning, knowledge and expertise and ultimately raise aspirations and enrich the lives of people in the Tees Valley.

Chris Smith portrait

17 Dec 2020

A formal Memorandum of Understanding has been agreed between the two organisations which will build on their existing relationship and provide further focus on collaborative projects related to education, training and employability opportunities.

Teesside University and Thirteen already have a strong working relationship, with the ‘Thirteen Academy’ launched last year. This provides Thirteen’s customers and families with the opportunity to apply for a bursary to study on a range of courses at the University.

In addition, the two organisations are involved in ongoing collaborative research to help residents shape the future of their communities and improve economic and social wellbeing in disadvantaged neighbourhoods.

The new Memorandum of Understanding will further strengthen the working partnership and aims to deliver impactful opportunities and joint projects across five key themes:

  • Raising aspiration and ambition
  • Employability
  • Building resilience
  • Knowledge transfer
  • Education and training.

The aim is to work collaboratively to identify and deliver projects that make a major contribution to local communities and the regeneration of the Tees Valley. There will also be training and placement opportunities for students and graduates as part of the new agreement.

Details regarding initial projects will be announced in the New Year.

Teesside University is committed to social inclusion and generating and applying knowledge to enhance the economic, social and cultural success of students, partners and communities.

Thirteen manages over 34,000 properties, with the majority of homes for rent and sale in Teesside. As well as providing homes, the group has a strong social purpose and provides help and support for people facing a wide range of different challenges.

Professor Jane Turner OBE DL, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Enterprise and Business Engagement) at Teesside University, said: “Teesside is an inclusive university with a deep ambition and commitment to support and enrich the communities we serve. Our widening participation agenda ensures we continue to provide education opportunities to a diverse range of people from different backgrounds.

“We are delighted to be further strengthening our partnership with Thirteen and look forward to working together to enhance ambition and aspiration within the Tees Valley.

“Thirteen are an organisation which share our values and beliefs and this formal partnership reinforces the ambitions of both organisations to make a considerable, positive difference to people living in this area.”

Chris Smith, Thirteen’s Executive Director of Business Growth, said: “As two significant organisations within the region, Thirteen and the University have worked together on a number of projects over the years, and this Memorandum of Understanding gives us the foundation to further build on this work.

“Teesside University has always been an important partner for us as demonstrated by the Thirteen Academy as well as another recent project designed to engage young people from Middlesbrough to have their say about their lives and their place in the town.

“This project was a natural fit for Thirteen and the University to work together as it helped us to achieve mutual objectives, and is another example of how we can join forces to help our communities to progress.

“I’m looking forward to developing a range of projects with the University and seeing how our collaborative approach can result in better outcomes for these projects in future.”