Phil Wilson and Tom Blenkinsop
Martin Walker

Member Article

MPs hit out at Durham Tees Valley shun

Two North East MPs have angrily criticised the Coalition after Durham Tees Valley Airport’s second bid for government cash was ignored.

The airport was seeking £4.65m from the regional growth fund (RGF) to build a new access road and develop a business park to the south of its runway.

Ten projects around the north east will receive a total of £48m in the latest round of funding.

But at the second time of asking, Durham Tees Valley Airport’s bid was turned down.

Stockton South Conservative MP James Wharton says it had submitted exactly the same application.

But the Labour MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, Tom Blenkinsop, said: “Unfortunately yet again the north east has been ignored when it comes to significant infrastructure spending.

“We are constantly told of how the Tees Valley is supposed to be in an advantageous position by having Coalition MPs amongst its ranks.

“However, this is yet again a reminder that neither the Liberal Democrat for Redcar (Ian Swales) nor the Tory for Stockton South (Mr Wharton) have any presence here in our area, nor any influence in parliament on their own ministers.

“Our area and our nation is in desperate need of infrastructure spending and growth now.”

Meanwhile the Labour MP for Sedgefield, Phil Wilson, added: “I am very disappointed – this is a missed opportunity.

“The funding would have allowed the airport to build the necessary infrastructure to open up the south of the airport to aviation related business.

“I will be speaking to Durham Tees Valley airport to discuss their options.”

Bosses at airport owners Peel Group had earlier said it was “extremely disappointing” news.

The Peel Group claimed its plans had the potential to create 4,500 jobs over the next decade.

But Tory MP Mr Wharton criticised the bid, saying: “When you ask the same question twice, you get the same answer twice.

“This wasn’t a bid that would have created more passenger flights from Teesside airport - this was a bid for a freight hub and a mini industrial park.

“I’m a big supporter of the airport. I want to see it be a success, but I want to see it be a success as an airport. We need more routes, more facilities and for people to be able to fly places from it.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Martin Walker .

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