Durham Tees Valley airport chiefs have said they are "extremely disappointed" at the news that, for a second time, their bid for funding to support a multi-million pound development plan has not been approved.
The airport was hoping for £4.65million from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund to contribute towards the construction of a new access road to land on the south side of the airport.
The airport say there was the potential to create 1,400 new jobs over the next ten years.
"We believe that we made a very strong case for a project which could be of enormous benefit to both the airport and the area as a whole. Clearly in the light of today’s announcement we will need to consider the options now available to us.”
– Peter Nears, Peel Group, Strategic Planning Director
An influential group of MPs has strongly criticised a flagship government scheme to create more jobs in the North East.
The Commons Public Accounts Committee described the success rate of the Regional Growth Fund as 'scandalous'. In the North East, out of more than £143 million promised to various projects, only £27 million has actually been made available to employers on the ground.
Nationally, the Committee found that only 2,442 new jobs had been created, against a target of 36,800 over the lifetime of the projects.
“Given the dire state of the economy, it is nothing short of scandalous that so few projects funded by the Regional Growth Fund have actually got off the ground. Some two years into the programme, of the £1.4 billion allocated only £60 million had reached front-line projects."
– Margaret Hodge MP, Chairman, Public Accounts Committee
“It is particularly depressing news for North East firms who are not getting the support they require to succeed after the Regional Development Agency – One North East (ONE) – was abolished.
"Hopefully this report will act as a catalyst for the Government to get a grip of the scheme and ensure that the funding is getting to businesses that require it. If not the economy will continue to fail.”
– Tom Blenkinsop MP, Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland (Labour)
"The RGF is delivering at the pace that companies can expand and create new jobs. To rush companies into expanding before they are ready would be unsustainable and would put public money at risk.
"The PAC report is based on the hearing back in May and fails to recognise the significant progress that has been made over the last four months."