PLANS to dramatically overhaul a railway station have taken a step forward with a bid for Government funding.

Proposals have been made to redevelop Darlington’s railway station, with plans estimated to cost about £100m.

The business case for the project, including a funding request for up to £95m, has now been submitted to the Department of Transport.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “Today we have submitted our fully worked-up case for Darlington station to the Department of Transport. This is a major step forward in delivering this vital project, a project that will make travel to, from and around the Tees Valley easier and better than ever.

“I’ve already committed £25m to kick-start the work, but there is still more to be done. Now it’s down to Whitehall to put its money where its mouth is and invest in these much-needed improvements.

“Our plan to transform Darlington station would cut journey times, improve regional transport links and give visitors an incredible welcome to the area.”

The scheme would see improvements to the fabric of the station, including new platforms, improved entrances, and the regeneration of the wider area.

Once complete, it is hoped the upgraded station will lead to faster, more frequent and better quality services and better freight connections from Teesport, preparing the station for high-speed services and Northern Powerhouse Rail.

Councillor Heather Scott, Tees Valley Combined Authority cabinet lead for transport and leader of Darlington Borough Council, said: “These exciting plans to transform our station will go to Darlington Council cabinet for consideration next week.

“Our local people and businesses deserve high-quality, efficient, reliable and regular transport links, and these plans will go a long way in making sure they get that.

“The 200-year anniversary of the Stockton-Darlington Railway is fast approaching, and we’re seeing a lot of new opportunities being created in Darlington, such as the National Horizons Centre and Feethams House, as well as across all the corners of the Tees Valley. This transformation would give us a station our whole region could be proud of.”

Paul McKeown, investment director for Network Rail, said: “We have been working closely with the Tees Valley Mayor, Combined Authority and Darlington Borough Council on these exciting plans to improve the railway for all passengers.

“This scheme would improve connectivity across the Tees Valley, as well as create a station which is a fitting gateway to the region.”