East Durham will have a new railway station within three years after the Government announced more than £4million funding.
Transport Minister Paul Maynard has written to Easington MP Grahame Morris today, confirming the Government is backing plans for a new halt in Horden as part of a £20million spending round from the New Stations Fund.
Horden will receive £4.4 million of Department for Transport funding towards a scheme worth a total of £10.55million.
"Following the evaluation of all of the applications we received, I am delighted to inform you that we will be supporting this new station," says the Minister's letter.
"This means that the new Horden Peterlee station will be benefiting passengers and opening up access to new rail journeys in the North East from March 2020 at the latest.
"Our priority is to deliver improved journeys for rail passengers across the country, and we look forward to this station providing real benefits to the people of Horden and Peterlee."
A delighted Grahame Morris thanked everyone who had been involved in the campaign.
"After five years of campaigning, of raising questions , of having debates, of lobbying ministers, we have received confirmation in the post this morning that Horden railway station has been approved," he said.
"It is the final piece in the jigsaw, The local authority and every party have all supported this. We were just waiting for Ministerial approval and we have got that this morning.
"It is great news and a great cause for celebration. It will be a big boost for jobs, for regeneration, for what we are trying to do with housing in Horden and will be a tremendous asset for Peterlee and the surrounding area.
"Thanks very much to everyone who has supported the campaign."
Coun Simon Henig, Leader of Durham County Council, said: "We are delighted with today’s announcement from the Department of Transport, which marks a significant milestone in the project to create a railway station at Horden.
"The station, which we expect to be complete by 2020, will greatly enhance commuters' ability to reach employment sites across the region and will be served by more than 20 trains a day heading north and south. It will also act as a park and ride, with spaces for more than 100 commuters.
"We believe it will serve as a significant focus for regeneration in this coastal community.
"There is already considerable support for this project regionally, with funding already in place from the North East Combined Authority and ourselves, and it is good to see this has now been nationally recognised."
Lianna Etkind, Public Transport Campaigner at the national Campaign for Better Transport welcomed the latest spending and called on the Government to make it esasier to open new stations or bing disused ones back to life.
"This announcement is great news for the many thousands of people who will now benefit from being connected to the rail network, opening up new jobs and life opportunities and boosting economies," she said.
"New stations transform communities: improving access to jobs and services, help reduce road congestion and pollution and unlock development and tourism opportunities. We call on the Government to confirm the next round of the New Stations Fund as soon as possible, so more people can benefit from new stations.
"However, the process of opening or reopening a new station is often costly, inflexible and time consuming. In addition to investment, we'd like to see more strategic Government support so local authorities can plan rail connectivity for new developments, rather than adding to congestion and air pollution through new roads."