Richard Holden MP has put forward a levelling up bid for Willington, Crook and Tow Law and is looking for local views on parts of that bid.
The Government promised to level up the country and Mr Holden to level up North West Durham. That means working to better everything from life-long learning to major transport infrastructure to further devolution of powers. As part of it, every constituency in the country gets a chance to bid into is the £4.8 billion 'levelling up fund' for something for the local area, in addition to the national programmes.
This fund gives up to £20 million per parliamentary constituency for a project that covers at least one of three parts: Transport infrastructure improvements, 'Cultural' sector improvement, High St Regeneration. Only around one in three constituencies will win a project. These projects need to be worked up by the local authority in each area and, crucially, need the support of the local MP
The £4.8 billion is being determined in 3 tranches. Tranche 1 will allocate around £600m. Tranche 2 and Tranche 3, gives local areas without plans ready to go the chance to get them ready.
In tranche one, the Bishop Auckland constituency had a 'ready to go' bid for the Toft Hill Bypass (which has been talked about for 70 years and was in the 1951 Durham County Plan). Dehenna Davison, MP for Bishop Auckland and Mr Holden have worked closely together on many issues and he is very supportive of this bid as it will improve journey times, safety and through-flow on the A68 - benefitting North West Durham too.
The other five DCC area constituencies will see their bids submitted in tranches 2 & 3. The bid for North Durham will be for improvements to the A693 in Stanley. If successfully, this will significantly benefit travel times through to Consett and the top of the North West Durham constituency. Mr Holden has spoken to the North Durham Member of Parliament Kevan Jones about this and is supportive of the bid, as North West Durham will also benefit.
For the North West Durham bid, Mr Holden has asked the Council to work with him on a joint bid for the three town area of: Crook, Willington and Tow Law. It is more complex than the bids for other areas of the County as it will hopefully cover all three elements. The bid will look to cover the regeneration of Willington Town Centre, improvements to Tow Law, particularly in terms of transport and parking in the centre of the town and a new leisure facility - focused on a new swimming pool - In Crook and some broader improvements to help ensure the town centre thrives.
If you live in Crook you'll have had a leaflet drop in the last few weeks. Thank you to the over 500 local people who have already completed their online survey. Wherever you live in North West Durham, please complete the survey here.
Many of you will be aware that Crook Community Leisure (CCL) have expressed a desire to build a pool at Peases West. Others have suggested that one either on the old Glenhome Site or elsewhere in the town would be better. There has been no funding allocated for any facility so far. The best way to get any funding for a project will be via a Levelling Up Bid which could then knock onto Sport England funding too.
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