Richard Holden, Member of Parliament for North West Durham, has welcomed the offer of funding of the local 25% of funding for the feasibility study into a new public transport link with enhanced cycling and walking between Consett and Newcastle/The Tyne.
Richard received the support of both the Prime Minister and the Transport Secretary for his campaign to get a feasibility study done for a new rail line for North West Durham. A new and improved link would boost the local economy, create new job opportunities and opportunities for young people and boost tourism in the area.
Richard submitted a formal application for feasibility to the Ideas Fund, a Government-led initiative being driven by the Department for Transport to improve transport links in areas without current transport links. The Transport Department will fund 75% of costs (up to £50,000) to fund transport and economic studies to create a business case. The other 25% must be met from local resources. Durham County Council has offered this but Richard has been keen to ensure that local taxpayers shouldn’t have to pick up the tab if at all possible.
Project Genesis, a local regeneration group formed after the closure of Consett’s Steel Works to benefit and invest in the local community, met with Richard and pledged to fund the local portion of the if the feasibility bid. Project Genesis has now pledged 25%, up to £15,000 into the project in a move that demonstrates their support for Richard’s key campaign.
Commenting, Richard Holden, Member of Parliament for North West Durham, said:
“I am absolutely delighted that Project Genesis has seen the potentially enormous value of a fixed public transport link with improved cycling and walking between Consett and the Tyne. They are a key local stakeholder for the project and this money means that the feasibility study would cost council taxpayers zero whilst ensuring that my constituents get the full benefit of this campaign.
“Since being elected I’ve pushed this and other local transportation projects to help level up our communities and I’m going to continue to work with local groups, businesses, the Council and constituents to level up transport in our area and ensure our community gets the funding it deserves. I really hope that the Council now accepts this funding to support this vital local project.”
Mike Clark from Project Genesis said:
“Project Genesis is committed to Consett and doing whatever we can to improve things locally. A new public transport link with improved cycling and walking alongside would be a major boost to the whole area and help drive the economic regeneration we’re all so keen to see locally.”