Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen has delivered a £6million boost for Billingham after new funding was agreed to help drive economic development in the area.
At a meeting of the Combined Authority Cabinet last week, Mayor Houchen and the five Local Authority Leaders signed off the cash as part of a refreshed ten-year Investment Plan.
The latest investment comes after work to boost disabled access at Billingham Station got underway, with a new footbridge set to be served by lifts to make it step-free. The £3.59million project is being backed by £1million from the Mayor and Combined Authority, with Network Rail contributing further funding alongside Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council and the Department of Transport’s Access for All Fund.
The cash will be used to further enhance the Billingham area, with a full Business Case set to be developed to outline how the new funding will be used.
A further £4million has been earmarked for projects outside of the Mayoral Development Corporation sites in Hartlepool and Middlesbrough, with an improved bus service in East Cleveland and discussions are under way to determine how the money could be targeted in Darlington.
Mayor Houchen said: “Billingham has drawn the short straw for far too long when it comes to investment and redevelopment, and this needs to change. Our £6million boost will accelerate the transformation of Billingham, breathing new life into the area – and not before time.
“2022 is our year of construction, with spades now in the ground at Billingham station, a vital lifeline for many people, to improve accessibility. Now we can turn our attention to other parts of the town to complement this vital work.
“On top of this, we’re targeting investment to improve for rural bus services in places like East Cleveland, so people and businesses can be better connected and have the transport links that they deserve.”
Cllr Bob Cook, Leader of Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, said: “We’re delighted to have secured this additional £6million from the Combined Authority for projects across Billingham. This will sit well alongside our own plans, which are focussed on the transformation of Billingham town centre.”