Labour leader Sue Jeffrey says the £14m of government funding for the South Tees Development Corporation site is just a fraction of what’s needed to attract new business to the area.
And the leader of Redcar and Cleveland Council insists any decision over the Tata land deal can only be made by the Tees Valley Combined Authority at its next meeting on January 24.
Tees mayor Ben Houchen and Northern Powerhouse Minister Jake Berry MP visited the STDC site on Monday to reveal a deal had been agreed with Tata for 1,420 acres of land.
They also confirmed £14m of Government cash to start remediation works, in preparation for construction on the site at a later date.
In a statement, Cllr Jeffrey said: “Whilst I welcome the fact that the business case for the £14m has now been accepted by Government, this is only just one small part of the cash needed to bring new businesses and jobs to the South Tees Development Corporation site.
“A further, much larger bid is being made to the Comprehensive Spending Review. It is only when this cash is secured that we will be able to move forward with confidence.
“In relation to the TATA land deal, this will be funded locally by the Combined Authority and not only involves the purchase of land but also taking responsibility for ongoing maintenance and environmental liabilities.
“The final decision on funding will be taken at the end of January as part of the decision on the overall TVCA investment plan when other propositions that also have high capital costs and on-going liabilities will also need to be considered – including buying the airport.”
During Monday’s media call, mayor Houchen was keen to stress the land deal was subject to the approval of both the South Tees Development Corporation board, as well as the combined authority during the crucial January 24 meeting, when Labour council leaders will also vote on the future of Durham Tees Valley Airport.