Seven 'overlooked' North East towns to receive £20 million in Levelling Up funds

Hartlepool is among seven towns in our region to receive £20 million in Levelling Up funding. Credit: PA

Seven towns in the North East of England will each receive £20 million in Levelling Up funding from the government.

Eston, Jarrow, Washington, Blyth, Hartlepool, Spennymoor and Scarborough are among 55 areas across the UK to be given a share of a total of £1.1 billion pot, with the funding being targeted at reviving high streets and tackling anti-social behaviour.

Under the plans, a Town Board would be created to bring together local authorities, employers and community leaders to create a long term plan for he area which would then be put to local people for consultation.

Of the seven places in the region to receive the funding, five have a Conservative MP.

The Prime Minister says there must be more focus on improving the lives of people who live in towns. Credit: PA Images

The Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said the announcement would support areas which have been 'taken for granted'.

He said: “Towns are the place most of us call home and where most of us go to work. But politicians have always taken towns for granted and focused on cities.  

“The result is the half-empty high streets, run-down shopping centres and anti-social behaviour that undermine many towns’ prosperity and hold back people’s opportunity – and without a new approach, these problems will only get worse.  

“That changes today. Our Long-Term Plan for Towns puts funding in the hands of local people themselves to invest in line with their priorities, over the long-term. That is how we level up.” 

The government says a new ‘Towns Taskforce' will also be created within the Department for Levelling Up and will report directly to the Prime Minister and Levelling Up Secretary, with a focus on helping town boards to develop their plans.

In response to the announcement, Labour MP Angela Rayner MP, Shadow Levelling Up secretary said: “It takes a special kind of arrogance for a Prime Minister caught on tape boasting that he had swiped money from ‘deprived urban areas’ to now expect local people to be grateful for a promise to hand a tiny fraction of it back.

 “Levelling Up announcements from this government amount to barely more than shiny headlines, chaos and delays.  

 “While the Tories force communities to go cap in hand to Whitehall begging for their own money back, the next Labour Government will spread power, wealth and opportunity to all parts of our country. We will grow our economy by harnessing the talents, ambition and skills of all British people, and in turn, provide sustainable, long-term funding for councils, and certainty for business to invest. Labour will give these towns their future back.”  

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