AN HISTORIC £490m investment programme which could lead to the creation of 9,000 jobs across the region is announced by the Government today (MON, JULY 7).
The North-East and North Yorkshire has won some of the biggest Government grants across the country for business, research, housing and infrastructure investment.
However the Tees Valley, from Darlington to Redcar, will eventually receive an estimated overall figure of £90.3m in the coming years from the Government Growth Deal Fund. York and North Yorkshire will eventually be granted about £110.1m and the rest of the North-East £289.3m.
The Government investment could eventually be doubled with match funding from councils and businesses. The region’s Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) in the Tees Valley, North-East and North Yorkshire have helped developed the projects with various organisations and presented them to the Government in a bid for funding.
It is hoped the projects in the Tees Valley will create up to 1,000 jobs and 2,000 new homes while 4,000 jobs and 5,000 homes could be created in York and North Yorkshire and 4,000 jobs in the rest of the North-East.
Eye-catching schemes supported by the grants include:
* investing in Newton Aycliffe’s Merchant Business Park for to accommodate supply chain companies for the soon-to-be-built, £82m Hitachi train building factory in the area
* a study into remodelling of Darlington’s Bank Top station and a new road for Durham Tees Valley Airport
*Teesside University’s Central Park National Horizons Centre, a national centre for biologics, subsea engineering and digital manufacture in Darlington as well as expanding the plans for the nearby Central Park residential, leisure and commercial development between Haughton Road and Yarm Road
*Refurbishing the Newcastle Central Metro Station, part of Newcastle Central Train Station and roads
*an Oil and Gas Academy at Redcar and Cleveland College for specialist training
*an offshore wind power research centre in Middlesbrough
*a new chemical research lab at Wilton, near Redcar
*upgrading the Government’s Agri-Food research centre at Sand Hutton, York creating up to 800 jobs
*upgrading Hartlepool ‘s Cleveland College of Art and Design to completment Hartlepool’s existing plan to create an ‘innovation and skills’ centre in the town centre.
The Tees Valley LEP hopes an additional £80m in private and public investment will be attracted to the various projects, York and North Yorkshire LEP estimates an additional £120 will come in and the North East LEP expects another £90m.
Bill Dixon, leader of Darlington Borough Council, Labour, said: “We are confident that the projects we will support will provide the building blocks for real growth and job creation across the Tees Valley.”
Paul Woolston, chairman of the North East LEP, said: “The deal will act as a catalyst to lever in substantial private and public investment, creating thousands of jobs and providing sustainable, long-term growth. It marks the beginning of an exciting journey for the North-East.”
John Weighell, leader of North Yorkshire County Council, Conservative, said: “This long-term investment recognises the potential of the rural economy in York and North Yorkshire, enabling us to develop the key infrastructure needed to support our growing businesses and enable over 5,000 homes to be built.”
The Growth Deal funding across the country, which will eventually total £12bn, will be announced by the Prime Minister, David Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg.
Estimates for £6bn worth of investment will be outlined today with more concrete details for the first year’s funding of £2bn.