An independent inquiry will report there was no evidence of corruption or illegality linked to the finances at the controversial Teesworks development, it is understood.

But the long-awaited report makes criticisms of governance and transparency at one of Europe’s biggest brownfield regeneration projects, the PA news agency understands.

The development scheme, driven by Tees Valley’s Conservative mayor Ben Houchen, has been subject to an inquiry led by three senior local authority officers, ordered by Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove last year.

Housing minister Lee Rowley will make a parliamentary statement on the review on Monday afternoon.

The report is expected to find there was no evidence of any allegations of illegality or corruption.

It is also expected to support the mayor’s denials that land was sold to developers for as little as £1 an acre, and back his claims that the scheme has already brought in economic benefits.

Mr Houchen, who chairs the South Tees Development Corporation which oversaw the Teesworks site and who originally requested the inquiry, has always denied allegations of corruption.

Concerns about the Teesworks project were previously raised by Middlesbrough’s Labour MP Andy McDonald in the Commons, who alleged “truly shocking, industrial-scale corruption” related to funding in Teesside.

He said the site acquired by the public body South Tees Development Corporation for £12 million in 2019 subsequently received hundreds of millions of pounds of taxpayer investment, but “private developers exercised their option to purchase for a mere £1 an acre plus inflation, paying £96.79 in December 2022”.

During a visit to Darlington earlier on Monday, the Prime Minister defended the “rigorous process” of the inquiry.

Tory former minister Sir Simon Clarke also predicted the report will clear the flagship regeneration project of any impropriety.

“I am 100% confident that the substantive allegation of corruption will be proved to be false,” the Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland MP told the BBC last week.

“Actually I’m willing to say more broadly than that, the report will clear Teesworks and Ben Houchen of any impropriety.”

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The Teesworks and freeport project aims to redevelop Redcar’s former steelworks in the north east of England for green industry.

It was set up as a joint venture between Mr Houchen’s public body – the South Tees Development Corporation – and companies run by two local developers, but was then transferred to majority private ownership in late 2021.

Profits tripled to £54 million in the year to March 2023 after the private sector companies increased their stake to 90%, the Financial Times reported earlier this month.