More than 200 new jobs and apprenticeships will be created as part of a £3.7m investment into an historic walled garden in Redcar.
Tees Valley Combined Authority’s cabinet approved the investment to bring the grade II-listed historic Walled Garden back into use after 30 years, creating a mix of formal and produce gardens, events spaces, food and retail opportunities.
It will provide a major attraction in the north-east that supports employment and training opportunities in the catering, hospitality and horticulture sectors.
The £8.18m Walled Garden Project would see a 3.5-acre site transformed, with cash also being used to create a new access road linking the estate directly to the A174, and a new car park with up to 300 spaces.
On top of its wide cultural implications, the development is expected to create 100 jobs and more than 100 apprenticeship and traineeship opportunities over three years.
The funding is the second tranche of combined authority cash awarded to the Kirkleatham Estate, following £2.7m already committed to the project.
It joins funding of £1.1m from the government’s Coastal Communities Fund and £578,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Tees mayor Ben Houchen said: “I’m proud to support this exciting project for the Kirkleatham Estate.
“With this massive funding boost, the proposed developments could attract an additional 50,000+ visitors to Tees Valley each year. That means more people visiting and spending their money in Redcar.
“As well as the obvious tourism benefits, the project will also support the creation of 100 new jobs and more than 100 apprenticeship and training opportunities. Each apprenticeship created will make a real difference in the lives of young people at a time when we need to be promoting proper vocational skills.
“This cash will ensure Kirkleatham Estate endures and inspires visitors from far and wide for years to come.”
Sue Jeffrey, Redcar and Cleveland Council leader and combined authority cabinet member, added: “The council has made significant investment at Kirkleatham over recent years resulting in greatly increased visitor numbers.
“This next stage in the development will build on that success securing the site for a range of new activities, providing training and job opportunities for local people as well as restoring the walled garden.
“Kirkleatham has proved itself to be a highly popular visitor destination and a great location for landmark events such as the Festival of Thrift.
“Enhancing the existing museum and making most of the fantastic assets on the site will benefit the whole area and I am certain the impact will be felt right across the Tees Valley.”