Hundreds of businesses across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool have learnt about work available on rail station redevelopments across the region thanks to a special event hosted by the Tees Valley Mayor.
Mayor Ben Houchen spoke to about 200 businesses at a virtual event this morning (September 10) to explain how they could get involved with the transformational work at Darlington, Middlesbrough, Hartlepool, Billingham and Teesside Airport stations.
The event, held in partnership with the Tees Engineering Network and Network Rail, was set up by Mayor Houchen to showcase the work that is available on projects on the biggest and busiest stations across the Tees Valley as part of his plan to support local jobs and local businesses.
Available work for local businesses will include building & stone masonry, groundworks, joinery, roofing, glazing, electrical, scaffolding & steel fabrication packages, painting, security, and much more.
Mayor Houchen said: “It was fantastic to be able to speak with around 200 businesses this morning to let them know about the work available our railway station projects across the Tees Valley. The coronavirus pandemic isn’t stopping us making local businesses aware of all the fantastic opportunities that are available.
“The redevelopment of railway stations in Darlington, Middlesbrough, Hartlepool, Billingham and Teesside Airport will be transformational for our region and will provide thousands of passengers our region the faster, more frequent and better quality services that they deserve.
“Access to good quality reliable and affordable public transport is key to my plan for local jobs for local workers. It’s pointless creating good-quality, well paid jobs if hard working local people cannot easily get around the region to access them.
“But it isn’t just passengers we want to benefit from these improvements, we want local businesses and local workers to feel the benefit and be part of these huge projects too. That’s why I am doing all I can to put local businesses, from across the region at the front of the queue for work on these amazing projects, and after today’s event, we can make that possible.”
Mayor Houchen has already committed £25million to the redevelopment of Darlington Station, with the Government backing the project with the remaining £80million. It will create a new local station and train platforms, which will take the current two trains an hour across the region up to a possible eight trains an hour.
It will also allow for better freight connections from Teesport, and prepare the station for high-speed services, including HS2, and Northern Powerhouse Rail. The money will also be spent on improved entrances and the regeneration of the wider area around the station.
Meanwhile, the £35million redevelopment of Middlesbrough Station is now fully funded following Government’s final £9.65million commitment to the project last week. Mayor Houchen has already committed £22.5million to the redevelopment.
This will result in a platform extension to facilitate more services and longer trains, with the extended platform 2 able to accommodate new LNER Azuma trains, allowing the stations first direct rail link to London in decades.
Major customer service improvements to the station including a new £6.5million entrance will also be carried out, whilst a new platform 3 could also be built to the north of platform 2 to further increase train capacity within the station