Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen has hailed the Chancellor’s announcement that £123m will be given to Tees Valley to kick-start the work of the South Tees Development Corporation (STDC).
The £123m funding will pave the way for investment from some of the 60 private companies which have already expressed interest to the recently established STDC.
A comprehensive bid for cash to start regenerating the former SSI site was submitted by the STDC in September 2017. Since then, Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen has met with the chancellor, business secretary, local government secretary and the northern powerhouse minister to push for this investment.
Welcoming the news, Mr Houchen said: “I have spent the best part of six months repeatedly banging the drum for our area in government. It has been exhausting, but I’m pleased to say it has finally paid off. The Tees Valley has found its voice and we are punching above our weight.
“This historic windfall is the clearest sign yet of the Government’s commitment local people. With this massive investment, we can stop talking about jobs and start delivering them.
“Over 60 private companies are lining up to down root on the former SSI site, and with this cash boost from the government we can finally get spades in the ground next year to start remediation.”
A £59m transport fund has been devolved to the Tees Valley to radically improve public transport across our region.
The six Metro Mayors in England will receive half of a national pot to locally deliver the schemes. Tees Valley’s allocation is based on an equal division per head of population.
Mr Houchen said: “Whilst other areas will have to go cap in hand to Government and complete tedious applications for a slice of the pie, the Tees Valley will receive a ring-fenced pot.
“The current public transport system for the Tees Valley is nowhere near good enough. With this investment, I want to improve the quality, frequency and reliability of the bus and rail services in our area.
“I will now instruct my officials to start pulling together proposals to fund.”
The Combined Authority will be work closely with the bus and rail operators to maximise this investment and ensure real change is driven to the transport system.
The budget also announced that the Government and Tees Valley will enter into discussions for further devolution to promote local growth.