Tees Valley Combined Authority has committed £3m to progress the case for the regeneration of Darlington railway station.
At a meeting of the Combined Authority Cabinet, the cash was agreed to take the proposals from a plan to a fully developed design case for submission to Government.
During the meeting, Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen also reiterated his view that a further £25m should be earmarked to help upgrade the station at a later date from the £59m Transforming Cities Fund which was devolved from Government to the region in last November’s Autumn Budget.
Mayor Houchen said: “I am committed to delivering on our ambitious plans to make Darlington a station to be proud of. That’s why, on top of this £3million to move forward with a fully rounded presentation to Government, I’m continuing to push to use a further £25million to realise our vision.
“The benefits that we’d see from this landmark project can’t be understated. It would impact on the lives of each and every person in the Tees Valley, while positioning ourselves as an even more accessible destination for business and tourism.”
A formal proposal will be taken to cabinet in a forthcoming meeting by the Mayor for a local contribution of £25m to be used towards the scheme.
Cllr Bill Dixon, Combined Authority Cabinet Lead for Transport, added: “Darlington station is not just vital to the prosperity and future success of the town itself, but also to the wider Tees Valley. It is currently a major gateway to our region and plays a key role in our local transport network.
“In 2025 we will be in the spot light as we celebrate the 200th anniversary of the modern railway, and I want people to visit a station that is fit for the 21st century”
The bold project will see a major transformation of the station and reconfiguration of rail track to ensure it can accommodate new high speed services on the East Coast Main Line, while also unlocking capacity on the local rail line.
This will lead to faster, more frequent and better quality services across the Tees Valley, County Durham and North Yorkshire, and better freight connections from Teesport.