Richard Holden, Member of Parliament for North West Durham, Paul Howell for Sedgefield and Dehenna Davison for Bishop Auckland are calling for Durham County Council to work alongside them to bid for levelling up funding for County Durham.
Announced at the Spending Review, the £4.8 billion Levelling Up Fund will provide funds to invest in infrastructure to improve daily life across the UK, with town centres and high streets receiving funding to regenerate, local transport projects receiving financial support, and cultural and heritage assets across the country being given financial aid. The Fund is open to every local area but is intended to support investment in places where the biggest differences can be made, including ex-industrial areas and coastal and deprived towns.
Richard, along with Dehenna Davison, Member of Parliament for Bishop Auckland and Paul Howell, Member of Parliament for Sedgefield, are calling for Durham County Council to work with them as they look to bid for funding for County Durham and its towns and villages.
This funding is in addition to the over £100 million Communities fund to help support local communities who want to buy community assets and incorporate them as Community Interest Companies. All three Conservative MPs are looking to work with local people on such projects.
Commenting, Richard Holden, Member of Parliament for North West Durham, said: “The opportunity to bid for levelling up funding is an opportunity that must not be wasted – this is a chance for our area and communities to receive huge investment that will improve the lives of our constituents.
“It is absolutely crucial that Durham County Council works with myself and my Parliamentary colleagues on this. It is imperative that we push to receive appropriate funding for the areas and communities that need it most in County Durham, rather than simply bidding for the areas that already receive huge investment.
“I want to see Levelling Up bids for the town centres of the Three Town Area of Crook, Willington and Tow Law, and for Consett Town Centre. Our community deserves to be heard and supported. In the past, North West Durham hasn’t had any bids put in to support the local towns – I’m determined to see this change.”
Dehenna Davison, MP for Bishop Auckland said: “We were elected on a pledge to level up our local communities, and this fund is the perfect opportunity. I’m delighted that Bishop Auckland has received substantial funding from the Future High Streets Fund and Towns Fund but there’s still much more work to do, and more areas that need investment. I’ll be pushing for the Toft Hill Bypass and Whorlton Bridge repairs as priorities, and look forward to working with DCC to get this done.”
Paul Howell, MP for Sedgefield said: “The levelling up fund is a fantastic initiative that gives a real opportunity for improving our communities. The town centre in Newton Aycliffe is a perfect target for this fund and I am already working with Durham County Council to ensure it gets focus.”