A cash injection for a vast overhaul of Darlington Station has been confirmed by the Chancellor on a visit to the region.
The Darlington Station Project has already been primed with £33 million from the Tees Valley Combined Authority and Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen.
Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt MP, visited the town on Thursday (1 December) – passing through the station before speaking to Darlington business owners, and dropping into the Darlington Economic Campus, currently based at Feethams House.
Mr Hunt confirmed £93 million for the project on his visit – following on from previous commitments which take total Government investment to £105 million. The raft of improvements planned will improve capacity on the wider Tees Valley rail network and create better access to the East Coast Main Line – further enhancing regional connectivity.
Buildings are being cleared to make way for an extension to the station, with the old and new sites linked by a bridge joining the historic train shed with the modern facility.
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “It’s great to see the Chancellor in Darlington just a matter of days after the Prime Minister came to town. Our growing Economic Campus – just a stone’s throw from the station – means local people can work at the heart of Government in a good, well-paid job without leaving for a big city, and staying close to the place they know and love.
“It also gives us prime access to the top table of Government, meaning we can continue to push our vital plans for the people of Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool. And there’s no better example than the boost we’ve been given on Darlington Station.
“We’ve received government support in the amount of £105 million for this project, which is more than the £80 million we originally asked for. It all helps us in breathing new life into the station and it opens the door to better rail services across our region.”
Mr Hunt said: “This latest £93 million investment released through our Integrated Rail Plan is welcome news for the people of Darlington and the wider Tees Valley. This huge project will provide fast, reliable rail services which will connect local people to new job opportunities, while attracting talent and tourism for local businesses to grow.
“Levelling up the country remains a central priority of this government, and our commitment to Darlington station’s modernisation is a perfect example of that. Transformative plans like this – championed by the Mayor and local leaders – will go a long way in boosting economic growth and delivering on the promise of prosperity in the future.”
The station redevelopment includes a multi-storey car park, transport interchange and gateway entrance connected to Central Park. New platforms will accommodate current and future services to improve the region’s local and national transport links.
An upgrade to the Victoria Road entrance and car park pick-up and drop-off points on the western side of the station are also planned, with new road layouts, wider pavements, and a boost to walking and cycling access to make the station easier to reach and improve connections with other types of transport.
The Tees Valley Combined Authority (TVCA), Network Rail, LNER, Darlington Borough Council, the Department for Transport and a range of other partners will play roles in the project with the aim for it to be ready by mid-2025.
Photo credit: Tees Valley Combined Authority