A FRESH cash injection of £7.29m has been announced for Middlesbrough and Redcar and Cleveland to continue providing vital services during coronavirus.

Middlesbrough Council has been allocated £4.84m in extra funding while Redcar and Cleveland will benefit from £2.45m on top of what has already been provided by the Government.

This means that since the start of the pandemic, Middlesbrough has received £23.14m in extra direct support while Redcar and Cleveland has received £17.73m from the Government. The extra support is specifically to cover coronavirus-related costs and ensure the councils have the resources needed to continue providing vital services.

Simon Clarke, Conservative MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, said: "In these difficult and unprecedented times, this Government is continuing to provide the support needed to weather the storm. The £7.29m announced today is hugely welcome and will ease financial pressures on both Middlesbrough and Redcar and Cleveland councils and ensure they are able to continue providing vital local services this winter."

Jacob Young, Conservative MP for Redcar, added: "This extra £2.45m comes on top of the £17.73m already provided to Redcar and Cleveland Council since the pandemic began.

“Just like we said we would stand behind people whose jobs are at risk – with over £200 billion so far to project jobs, incomes and businesses throughout and beyond this pandemic – this Conservative Government is keeping its promise to local authorities and ensuring they have the resources they need to continue supporting people”

The funding has not been ring-fenced, meaning local leaders will be able to determine how to spend the additional funding in order to best protect public health, local vulnerable people and the running of vital services. In total, over £4.6 billion of the £6.4 billion in additional government funding made available to councils has not been ring-fenced, reflecting the Government’s view that local authorities are best placed to determine local priorities.

This is the fourth announcement of extra direct support for local authorities since the start of the pandemic. It forms part of an unprecedented package of support for councils, which also includes up to £465 million through the new Local Alert Level system, £300 million to support Test and Trace and £30 million for enforcement and compliance.

Councils can also claim funding through a compensation scheme for lost income from sales, fees and charges and further additional support will be made available to areas placed under Tier 3 restrictions.

Communities Secretary, Robert Jenrick, said: “Since the start of the pandemic, we have backed local councils with the funding they need to support their communities, protect vital services and recover lost income.

“This extra £1 billion funding will ensure that councils have the resources that they need over the winter and continue to play an essential role on the front line of our response to the virus while protecting the most vulnerable and supporting local businesses.”

Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, said: “It's vital that we keep ourselves fighting fit through the winter months and local authority leisure centres are crucial to this. This £100 million fund will help keep leisure centres across the country open. I urge leisure centres to bid for the money and people to make the most of these precious local facilities.”