Amy Harhoff, corporate director of regeneration, economy and growth at Durham County Council, looks at a bright future for the county


As we look ahead to 2022, there is a great deal to be optimistic about in County Durham - from a multi-billion-pound investment programme, to our quest to be crowned UK City of Culture 2025.

We are now approaching the second anniversary of the coronavirus pandemic and supporting our communities and businesses will remain a key priority for the council and our partners in the months ahead.

Read more: What a night at County Durham Together Awards

We also remain committed to driving our economy forward, as we know unlocking major regeneration projects, ensuring social value through our Durham Pound initiative, attracting investment and creating and safeguarding jobs are key to a successful economy.

It is vital the people and businesses of County Durham are part of this journey and, for County Durham, levelling up is about inclusivity. With this in mind, in January 2022, we will launch an ongoing conversation with communities, businesses and partners to develop the County Durham Inclusive Economic Strategy.

In 2021, we successfully secured millions of pounds of Government funding, including £33.2m from the Stronger Towns Fund, £19.8m from the Future High Street Fund and £20m from the Levelling Up Fund. As a result of this, we expect to deliver more than £300m of inward investment for the county in 2022 and beyond. In addition to this, a further five further bids will be submitted to Government for up to £100m of Levelling Up funding in 2022.

Other exciting projects include our £78 million leisure transformation programme; our £70 million council house building scheme; the £49m third phase expansion of NETPark; and work to deliver our housing strategy, with almost 30,000 private rental homes soon to be covered by one of the largest selective licensing schemes in the UK.

Securing the UK City of Culture title would bring transformational social and economic benefits to the entire region and would provide an international platform on which to showcase our collective talent and innovation. Please pledge your support online at and let’s bring this home.


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