Alex responds to Local Growth Fund announcement

Commenting on the announcement today by the Government of the Local Growth Fund, Stockton North Labour MP, Alex Cunningham, said:

“Any initiative and increase in funding for the Tees Valley is very welcome, though it is clear that today’s news includes many ideas previously announced and the limited new money there is won’t materialise during the current Government.

“The announcement boasts these measures will create 1,000 jobs by 2021 and build 1,500 homes.  That is fewer than 150 jobs a year for seven years, which will have very limited impact on unemployment levels in our area.  The Stockton Borough alone has 5,286 people out of work and that is only a fraction of the number for the whole of the Tees Valley.

“What we need is our local authorities and Local Enterprise Partnership provided with real, substantial powers and funding to rapidly invest in our area – whilst working in partnership with neighbouring authorities and LEPs to drive investment for the North East region.

“I would have felt the Government was serious about helping our area if it had been making major funds available now to allow projects like the new road for the airport, the improvements to ease access to Wynyard Park and the offshore wind research and validation centre to go ahead without delay.  Sadly, today’s announcement is about very limited jam tomorrow.”