Teesside, Darlington, and Hartlepool are to receive more than £46million of funding - including an extra £16m on top of what they had expected.

The cash will come from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund which replaced the old EU Structural Funds. The money is allocated to help improve local areas through additional business investment.  

Current assumptions had accounted for an allocation of £29.5million from the fund for the next three years, meaning this announcement of £46.3million represents an additional £16.8m for the people of the Tees Valley. Moving beyond 2025, it is expected that the allocation will increase even further to £28million per year.

Read more: Teesside Airport reports loss of £11.8m

The pot is split between three key priorities: Community (£25million), Adult Education (£5million), and Business Support (£13million). This money will be targeted to tackle anti-social behaviour in town centres, fund careers support and education, and a whole raft of support for business including start-up investment and cash for apprentices.

Describing the money as "a Brexit dividend", Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “This news is a shot in the arm for Teesside, Darlington, and Hartlepool. After what has been a challenging couple of years for our small businesses, this funding is going to allow us to really support them and help them grow over the next few years.

The Northern Echo: Tees Valley Mayor Ben HouchenTees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen

“I have always said that our fantastic local businesses are the life blood of our economy and ensuring that they have what they need to expand is critical to everything else that goes on.

“This is also further vindication of our decision to leave the European Union. We were told by so many that we would lose out and be made worse off. Well, here we are £17million better off. A real and clear Brexit dividend that will turbocharge growth and secure good quality local jobs for the years to come.”

The two new Mayoral Development Corporations Ben Houchen recently set up in Middlesbrough and Hartlepool are also set for a windfall  - sharing £20million to kick-start local work.

Read more: How Middlesbrough Development Corporation will transform town

Earlier this year Mr Houchen – alongside Hartlepool Borough Council Leader Shane Moore and Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston – announced that the towns would become home to new MDCs, to slash red tape, attract investment and make streets safer.

Now a total of £20million in funding from the Tees Valley Mayor and Combined Authority is being earmarked to support the vision for the centres – the towns’ biggest transformation in decades. The funding will support pedestrianisation, walking and other sustainable transport schemes, with additional funding set aside for other infrastructure projects within the targeted zones.

The designs for Hartlepool aim to reshape the town to make it a more attractive place to live and visit, support small businesses and deliver a master plan to maximise future funding. In Middlesbrough, proposals focused on the town centre, Middlehaven and Zetland Quarter would make the streets safer and cleaner and tie them – and major assets – together more closely.

Read more: Amazing plan for £50m Tees Valley Energy Company

A further £10million each would be allocated for place-based investments outside of the Mayoral Development Corporation zones, for priorities including an improved bus service in East Cleveland and to support Stockton’s plans for improvements to Billingham town centre.

The Northern Echo: Middlesbrough town centreMiddlesbrough town centre


The plans for the Hartlepool and Middlesbrough Development Corporations are currently open to public consultation and proposals will go before the leaders of the five local authorities next week for approval.

Mayor Houchen said: “We’ve spent a long time funding improvements in both Hartlepool and Middlesbrough which will form the building blocks of these Mayoral Development Corporations. Now, by boosting these plans with £20million, we’ve got a big opportunity to draw these sites together, delivering safer, cleaner and more connected centres that will be even better places to live and become hotbeds of investment.

“These new powers will give us control over planning like never before, letting us cut bureaucracy and go further, faster in delivering the change local people and businesses are crying out for."