Extra £3m committed to Darlington station plans

Tees mayor Ben Houchen Transport for the North chief executive Barry White (second left) and Darlington Council leader Bill Dixon (second right). Picture: TOM BANKS

The Tees Valley Mayor and Combined Authority Cabinet has agreed a further £3m of funding to begin detailed design work on the Darlington station redevelopment project.

The £100m ‘Darlington 2025’ plan will see a major overhaul of the station and reconfiguration of rail track to ensure the station is able to accommodate new high-speed services on the East Coast Main Line, while also unlocking capacity on the local rail line.

This will lead to faster, more frequent and better-quality services across the Tees Valley, County Durham and North Yorkshire, and better freight connections from Teesport.

This ambitious programme captures the pioneering spirit shown nearly 200 years ago, when the Stockton-Darlington Railway first ushered in the age of rail passenger transport.

In the last four years the town has seen nearly £200m of investment within ten minutes’ walk of the station including the National Horizons Centre, Business Central and the Feethams leisure development.

Mayor Houchen announced last month that he will bring forward an investment of up to £25m towards the capital cost of the station, but insisted that central Government will need to contribute the rest.

The Mayor’s commitment will come from a £59m local connectivity pot that was devolved to the area from Government last year.

This new £3m is in addition to the £25m commitment, and will be used to support the next stage of development and design of the proposal.

Mayor Houchen said: “This is a project of national significance to relieve pressures on the East Coast Main Line, and improve capacity on the local line too.

“I’ve already agreed to commit £25m to the overall cost of the project, but I’m clear that Government will also need to cough up too.

“This £3m will ensure we can hit the ground running on developing detailed design and engineering work ahead of submitting the full business case to Government this year.

“I’ve made it very clear to ministers over the last 12 months that this project in not only important locally, but also nationally.

“I’ll continue to do all I can to ensure the Government commits to funding the rest of our plan”

Cllr Bill Dixon, Combined Authority Cabinet Lead for Transport, said: “Darlington station is not just vital to the prosperity and future success of the town itself, but also to the wider Tees Valley.

“It is currently a major gateway to our region and plays a key role in our local transport network.

“In 2025 we will be in the spot light as we celebrate the 200th anniversary of the modern railway, and I want people to visit a station that is fit for the 21st century.”

 

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