Mayor Ben Houchen has today (November 1) welcomed funding that will allow towns in the Tees Valley to benefit from up to £125million of Government money.
Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Thornaby have been awarded the funding as part of the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s Towns Fund programme.
A total of £843,125 is being made available in capacity funding to enable the councils to develop business plans.
They will each then be able to bid for up to £25million in funding as part of the Government’s £3.6billion Towns Fund.
With five towns from the region included, the Tees Valley will receive more allocations than any other City Region in the UK.
The funding will allow communities across the Tees Valley to work with businesses and local leaders to draw up ambitious plans to transform their town’s economic growth prospects with a focus on improved transport, broadband connectivity, skills and culture.
Today’s announcement comes after news in July that Darlington and Stockton-on-Tees will each benefit from up to £300,000 from the Government’s Future High Streets Fund. This was followed in August with the news that Loftus had been shortlisted to receive up to £150,000 from the same fund.
Mayor Houchen said: “I’m delighted that Government has pledged funding to help our five boroughs kick off their innovative plans to make the Tees Valley an even better place to live and do business.
“As we’ve seen with the devolution deal that led to my election as Tees Valley Mayor, the people best placed to make decisions about an area are those who live in it.
“This is the first step in securing a pot of up to £125million for the Tees Valley, to give our areas the freedom to do what is needed so that we can continue to attract and retain the businesses our towns need to thrive and encourage even more people to these spaces.
“This is great news and shows what we can do when we pull together, work hard and put forward a positive vision for our area.”
Communities and Local Government Secretary, RT Hon Robert Jenrick MP said: “This Government is committed to levelling up all parts of the country. We created the £3.6billion Towns Fund to help businesses grow, connect communities and give people the skills they need to succeed.
“But no place is exactly the same. That is why we want to help local people in the Tees Valley and County Durham to decide how this investment of up to £25million in each town from the Government can help create new businesses, new jobs and new homes for generations to come.”
The councils will now bring together a Town Deal Board, including representatives from across the public, private and voluntary sectors to create business plans, by summer 2020.
Minister for the Northern Powerhouse and Local Growth, Rt Hon Jake Berry MP said: “We are giving local people in the Tees Valley and County Durham the money and power to decide what is best for their town because they know their community’s unique strengths.
“Together we can build on the billions of pounds the Government has already invested in our towns and the thousands of new jobs and businesses it has delivered, to level up these places across the Northern Powerhouse and beyond.”