Hartlepool part of £190m scheme to grow business, create jobs and build homes

Prime Minister David Cameron: "Economy too London-focused"
Prime Minister David Cameron: "Economy too London-focused"

THE Tees Valley has been given a £190m boost to help everything from education to the roads network.

The Government has announced £90m of investment for the area as part of a series of nationwide Growth Deals which will eventually see £12 billion ploughed into local economies all over the country.

Experts are predicting the big push will spark another £100m of private sector cash for the Tees Valley - meaning £190m investment, 1,000 jobs, 1,500 training places and 2,000 new homes.

Hartlepool’s part of the deal will be used on schemes including;

• Cleveland College of Art and Design’s Hartlepool campus to get cash to upgrade facilities as well as a new building for creative industries. The project is part of Hartlepool Borough Council’s Vision plan to create an innovation and skill quarter.

• Road widening and signal improvements on the A689 at Wynyard to ease congestion and reduce journey times.

And further afield there will be;

• A new access road for Durham Tees Valley Airport.

• A Tees Valley Business Growth Hub to support businesses in the Tees Valley, by providing a range of funding and advice services.

It marks an important step forward for the Tees Valley which comes just weeks after the City Deal for the area was signed, giving the area more control over its economic destiny.

Prime Minister David Cameron said: “Growth Deals are a crucial part of our long-term plan to secure Britain’s future. For too long our economy has been too London-focused and too centralised. Growth Deals will help change all that.”

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: “We are ending a culture of Whitehall knows best. Decisions over spending on infrastructure, business support and housing are being made at a truly local level.”

Tees Valley Unlimited chairman Sandy Anderson said: “The Growth Deal provides another example of our local authority and private sector partners working together to decide the priorities for our area and to drive economic growth from the local level. We welcome the opportunity to continue to work with government to build on this deal and attract further investment to create more jobs, more businesses, more highly skilled workers and to create a thriving economy.”

TODAY’S news affects large parts of the Tees Valley - but what does it all mean?

The historic Growth Deal with the Government will see £90.3m invested in the area with £22.9m in the first year, and the Government has announced an award of a further £67.4m from 2016/17 onwards.

The projects which start in 2015/16 will help to create up to 1,000 jobs, up to 1,500 additional training places, allow up to 2,000 new homes to be built and generate up to £100 million in public and private investment.

As well as the Hartlepool schemes listed above, there will also be a bio-therapeutics factory to design and develop personalised medicines, a national centre for innovation and skills in biotechnology, and a scheme to improve people’s chances of getting a job by creating better transport and cycle links.