On his first official visit as new Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Michael Gove today (24 September 2021) toured towns across the north-east to see first-hand how ambitious local plans are being put into action to help level up the region.
In Darlington, Mr Gove toured the National Horizons Centre which is bringing together industry and academia in a world-class centre of excellence for biosciences.
The Secretary of State also visited Teesworks industrial zone in Redcar where he toured part of the 4,500 acre site and heard more about plans for a Freeport, which will boost manufacturing, jobs and investment in the region.
Finally he travelled to the town of Thornaby to see how £23.9 million government investment from the Towns Fund is being used to create more homes, improve local transport and generate new opportunities for local people.
Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Michael Gove MP said:
It’s been fantastic to see how our levelling up agenda is boosting opportunity, employment and pride right across the country.
From Teesworks in the north-east, creating thousands of jobs, and the new town centre improvements in Thornaby, which will make it a more vibrant place to visit, today I’ve seen first hand the excellent work that shows how we are building back better from the pandemic and making a real difference to people’s lives.
Across the country, levelling up is spreading opportunity, boosting living standards and improving public services.
Our White Paper which will be published in the coming months will help drive forward our central mission to level up every corner of the UK. This will be backed by the £4.8 billion Levelling Up Fund which will support and create jobs, boost skills and help improve the look and feel of towns and cities across the UK.
National Horizons Centre (NHC) is a centre of excellence for biosciences, part of Teesside University. It received 17.5 million from the Local Growth Fund to help discover diseases earlier, develop novel treatments, and deliver life changing medicines to those in need, quicker, safer and more affordably.
The government has invested over £200 million in Teesworks industrial zone in Redcar, including over £50 million from this department, to support site management, demolition and land remediation to make 2000 acres ready for investment. The development of the site is expected to create 20,000 jobs by 2035.
The Teesside Freeport was one of eight announced in March 2021 and will be the biggest Freeport in the UK covering a range of sites across the Tees Valley.
Over the past year, we have also supported 101 towns across England through the £2.4 billion Towns Fund. Darlington received £22.3 million from the Towns Fund to improve the T-Levels offer in the town, kickstarting careers in a number of fields. Redcar received £25 million to help them transform the town centre and seafront. In Thornaby, which is a town on the River Tees, they are creating new homes, regenerating the town centre and boosting local skills and employability with the help of £23.9 million.
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