TEES Valley Mayor Ben Houchen has welcomed Government agreeing to fund the latest phase of development at Darlington’s Central Park, which will lead to the creation of 150 new jobs.

The investment is part of £17.4 million commitment from the Government’s Getting Britain Building Fund, which the Prime Minister announced earlier this year.

Darlington’s Central Park is one of three major projects across the Tees Valley the fund will benefit, with an allocation of £3.65 million

Central Park is home to CPI’s National Biologics and Manufacturing Centre and Teesside University’s National Horizons Centre – both centres of excellence in the biologics and life sciences sector.

Developments will create business accommodation, including lab and office space, and 150 new jobs, strengthening the region as a hub for bio pharmaceutical and chemical processing businesses.

Mayor Houchen said: “This is another vital commitment from Government in its levelling up agenda, proving that our region won’t be left behind and we are getting the attention we deserve.

“As we seek to rebuild our economy following the coronavirus pandemic, and also help lead the way for the rest of the UK, we need to unlock these projects and capitalise on new opportunities quicker than ever, and this cash will give us the means to do that."

Darlington MP Peter Gibson, who has been working with the mayor to secure funding, said: "There is so much exciting work going on in Central Park that is capturing the attention of the entire world.

"I am delighted that Government has recognised this and given us investment that will strengthen our reputation as a place of national importance for research and innovation.

“Whether it is CPI and the National Horizon Centre or Amazon on the outskirts of town, there are so many big businesses coming to the town.

"Important work happening in Darlington, and this money from Government will only strengthen that, putting us even more firmly on the map.”

The other two major projects attracting funding across the Tees Valley are in Middlesbrough and Redcar.

A total of £9.65 million has been earmarked through the Fund towards the Mayor’s £35million redevelopment of Middlesbrough Station. This includes part-funding the extension of an existing platform to allow it to accommodate longer trains, alongside the construction of commercial floorspace. Meanwhile, a new gateway entrance for TeesWorks in Redcar will receive £4.1 million of funding.