THE North East has won five opportunities for significant investment into the region as part of the first tranche of the Government's Levelling Up Fund. 

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the first round of funding in his Budget statement on Wednesday - with the aim of investing £4.8billion in infrastructure projects in the most deprived areas of the country. 

The Government has announced the first 105 funding opportunities - totalling £1.7 billion - so far. 

Read more: Applause from businesses, but still some questions for Chancellor

However, critics have said the North East has been left behind with only 6 per cent of the overall funding allocated to the region. 

There are only five beneficiaries listed in the North East compared to 12 in the South East, 10 in Yorkshire and Humber and 12 in the North West. 

Here, we have listed all the funding allocated to the North East by the Treasury: 

£310 million over five years to transform local transport networks in the Tees Valley for schemes such as upgrading Middlesbrough and Darlington stations and improving local rail links.

The Northern Echo: Whorlton Bridge, County Durham, will be reopened Whorlton Bridge, County Durham, will be reopened

Levelling Up Fund - £100 million for five projects.

• Reopening the Whorlton Bridge, near Barnard Castle - the UK’s oldest road suspension bridge over the River Tees. A visitor centre will also be developed as part of the works, allowing users to celebrate the bridge's transport heritage.

• Regenerating town centres in Yarm and Eaglescliffe

• Restoring Grainger Market in Newcastle

• Establishing the Housing Innovation and Construction Skills Academy in Sunderland

• Building a state-of-the-art sports facility in West Denton, Newcastle

The Northern Echo: Bishop Auckland MP Dehenna Davison with Transport Secretary Grant Shapps at Toft HillBishop Auckland MP Dehenna Davison with Transport Secretary Grant Shapps at Toft Hill

New investment will also allow the re-routing of the A68 at Toft Hill, creating a new 1.6-kilometre bypass away from the village centre which will link from the junction of Hartbrigg Lane to the junction of the A68 at Toft Hill Lane. 

Bishop Auckland MP Dehenna Davison praised the fund. "I am so excited that, after my extensive lobbying, Bishop Auckland is set to receive £20 million from the Levelling Up Fund," she said. 

“This will see the vital repairs finally made to the Whorlton Bridge, improvement works completed at Locomotion in Shildon, and after 70 years of campaigning, funding finally secured for the Toft Hill Bypass.”

Community Ownership Fund - £600,000 will be allocated to two projects from the first round of the fund to protect valued community assets.

• £300,000 total funding for the North East Homeless Hub, North Shields

• £300,000 total funding for the Whitley Bay Big Local Community Building, Whitley Bay

Read more: Budget 2021- Still a 'huge hole' in levelling up plans

The Northern Echo: The Weardale RailwayThe Weardale Railway

Other announcements include:

Receiving up to £50,000 through the Restoring Your Railway ‘Ideas Fund’ to develop an early-stage proposal to reinstate passenger rail links between Darlington and Weardale

• A £107 million loan to Tees Valley Combined Authority to develop a site for the manufacturing of wind turbine blades, creating around 800 jobs directly, with the potential to unlock thousands of jobs across the site

• Almost £690,000 will be allocated towards the regeneration of Church Lane North estate in Redcar and Cleveland from the £14 million estates regeneration share of the Brownfield Land Release Fund

• Selecting East Coast Cluster (combining Teesside and Humberside) as one of two Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage clusters to be deployed by the mid2020s

• £210 million funding for new Nexus trains over the Spending Review period, to improve journeys for passengers and level up opportunity

The North East will also benefit from its share of national programmes:

• Eight Community Diagnostic Centres in the North East and Yorkshire and the Humber, which expand diagnostic capacity whilst targeting investment at areas of deprivation. The Government is funding £2.3 billion over the Spending Review period for diagnostics across the country, which can increase the number of Community Diagnostic Centres in regions like the North East over the next three years

• £24 billion for strategic road upgrades including the A66 Northern TransPennine

• Over £2.6 billion for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund over the Spending Review, focused on helping people into jobs and get on in life across the UK, including giving hundreds of thousands of adults the opportunity to develop their numeracy skills though the Adult Numeracy Programme ‘Multiply’.

• £560 million funding over the Spending Review for the Youth Investment Fund and National Citizen Service

• £5 billion for Project Gigabit, rolling out gigabit capable broadband for homes and businesses across the UK

• New funding for the expanded Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, with £660 million additional funding provided for the British Business Bank (BBB)

• Up to £90 million for new Community Forests, including in the North East, helping meet our commitment to plant at least 7,500 hectares of trees every year in England by 2025

• Up to £20 million will be available over three years to clean-up former metal mines using nature-based solutions, including planting trees and creating wetlands, to remove toxic chemicals.

Keep up to date with all the latest news on our website, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

You can also follow our dedicated County Durham Facebook page for all the latest in the area by clicking here.

For all the top news updates from right across the region straight to your inbox, sign up to our newsletter here.

Have you got a story for us? Contact our newsdesk on or contact 01325 505054