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County Durham receives ministers? support

Date 10 Nov 2006
Author The Editor
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Government Ministers are adding their voices to the case for the future economic development of County Durham. Margaret Hodge, Minister for Trade and Industry, and Barry Gardiner, Minister for Biodiversity, Landscape and Rural Affairs, will raise the county’s argument for a fair share of regional funding with development agency One NorthEast.

Councillor Brian Walker, Deputy Leader of Durham County Council, and North Durham MP Kevan Jones met the Ministers in London to ask for their support in highlighting the county’s economic needs. The Ministers will now write to One NorthEast, which is responsible for allocating European and Central Government cash, to raise the county’s case for funding. The representatives are concerned that County Durham could miss out on money allocated to the North East with the majority of funding going to the “city regions” of Tyne and Wear and Tees Valley.

Coun Walker said: “Our discussions with the Ministers were very positive and they were broadly supportive of the issues we raised. “We are committed to the continued development of our economy so the people of County Durham, particularly those in more rural areas, can access the employment and training opportunities they need. “By making sure we receive the necessary funding to promote sustained economic growth, we can ensure that County Durham continues to be a fantastic place in which to live and work.”

Mr Jones said: “We have made a strong case for more to be done to support the growth of County Durham’s economy, and the Ministers have listened to that. “Developments such as Netpark hold a great deal of promise for the county’s future if they are properly supported and encouraged and I’ll continue to do everything I can to ensure we get that support.”

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