TEES Valley has clinched a £173m pot of money to spend on new projects, the Hartlepool Mail can reveal.
And officials in Hartlepool are getting ready to apply for a part of the pot – possibly to fund projects such as the planned new development at Jacksons Landing/Hartlepool waterfront.
And unlike previous allocations which had been given to the North-East, this one is exclusively for the Tees Valley which means it’s a bigger share for towns such as Hartlepool.
Money has been granted to the area under the European Regional Development Fund and the European Social Fund. Delighted council officials say they have not yet finalised their own bids for a portion of the money.
But Damien Wilson, Hartlepool Borough Council’s assistant director (regeneration), said: “The council and its Tees Valley partners are working on developing an economic plan which includes infrastucture and investment opportunities. It will include job creation projects.”
The fund is so specific, it can only be divided between the five Tees Valley local authorities.
Mr Wilson added: “The previous allocation was for the North East from 2007 to 2013, but this time, Tees Valley have received a dedicated allocation because the Tees Valley is classed as a Transitional Region and we have a greater opportunity to maximise the benefits from it.”
The news gets even better. It will mean 60 per cent of it coming from Europe with the local scheme only having to put up 40 per cent of any costs.
Councillor Robbie Payne, chair of Hartlepool Council’s regeneration services committee, said any monies clinched would help to add to a new air of confidence which was now spreading in the Hartlepool area.
“We have come a long way in the last 12 months. There is a sense of economic change.
“There are national signs of recovery and growth which are always seen first in the South-East and then start to filter through to the North.”
He said the mood in Hartlepool was changing and firms were starting to feel more upbeat.
Hartlepool’s precise allocation of ERDF money is not yet known, nor the amount of jobs which could be created.
That will become clearer when the town develops its projects for submission.