Gateshead's arena has received a £20m boost. Credit: ASM Global

Levelling Up Fund: North East snubbed

Just six projects across the region were successful in the second round, the total of £108.5m making this the least-supported English region by cash awarded.

The six successful bids were split equally between  the mooted North East combined authority area and the Tees Valley. The successful bidders include £20m for Gateshead’s 12,500-capacity quayside arena, £19.5m for a fleet of electric buses across the region, and close to £15m for a programme of pedestrian and cycle links in Northumberland.

Failed bids included North Tyneside’s dual bid, covering the regeneration of Wallsend town centre and a new landing point for the Shields ferry in North Shields. Newcastle’s £19m bid for a renewal project at Walker Quays was also rebuffed.

Sunderland failed to secure backing for a proposed footbridge across the River Wear, while no less than five projects, including a new transport interchange for Newton Aycliffe, were nixed in County Durham.

Four South Tyneside projects were snubbed, and while Northumberland had one successful bid it failed with a bid for £16m to support the regeneration of Ashington town centre.

Successful bids:

Hartlepool: screen industry production village, £16.4m

Proposals for a site off Lynn Street and Whitby Street will be a further catalyst for film and TV production in the area, said Hartlepool Council, building on work at the Northern Film & TV Studios and at the BIS.

North East Combined Authority: transport decarbonisation, £19.6m

The funding will deliver a fleet of 52 electric buses, 26 rapid chargers and 92 electric vehicle chargers across the North East in a boost for the region’s zero-carbon economy.

Northumberland sustainable transport access to jobs, £14.7m  

Between Hexham and Bedlington, almost £15m will deliver new cycling and pedestrian lanes to give people better, greener routes to work, major transport hubs and tourist attractions.

Redcar & Cleveland Council: connecting people and places, £20m

This investment in the Newham Grange highway scheme will unlock 800 homes in Middlesbrough, while new pedestrian and cycle tracks will better connect Guisborough town centre to Teesworks and the North York Moors National Park.

Tees Valley Combined Authority: active travel, £17.8m

This programme involves delivery of more than 15km of cycling and walking routes across the Tees Valley, connecting communities to employment, training and education opportunities.

Gateshead Quays Arena, £20m

Gateshead Council has secured £20m towards the £260m arena and conference centre, which will be managed by global venues powerhouse ASM Global. The development will be supported by hotels, bars, restaurants and walkways at Gateshead Quays, with the aim of generating £40m for the local economy each year.

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The NE was crying out for this funding. Not exactly levelling is it

By Kevin T

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