Bids totalling almost £100m have been submitted to government to help enhance transport, regeneration, town centres and culture across County Durham.
Durham County Council has submitted the bids to the Levelling Up Fund for five of its parliamentary constituencies – including plans for Newton Aycliffe’s ailing town centre.
It follows its success in the first round of funding bids, which saw £20m secured for Bishop Auckland.
If the council is successful, it would see more than £131 million worth of schemes delivered in City of Durham, Easington, North Durham, North West Durham and Sedgefield, that will help to improve transport links, regenerate communities and town centres, and improve access to cultural opportunities.
Following approval from Cabinet in June this year, the bids, which can each feature up to three projects, have been refined to reflect rising costs and fuel prices and support local priorities across the county.
The authority has pledged more than £12.4m in match funding and a further £10m will be required through its Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP).
The bid includes Aycliffe town centre. It will see land and buildings in the town centre repurposed to provide improved flexible space, a public transport interchange and reprovision of surface level car parking.
Active travel routes across the town will be enhanced, linking employment locations, rail stations, green spaces, parks and residential areas.
And new cultural attractions will be offered alongside the existing leisure and library services to improve the town’s cultural and wellbeing offer.
Cllr James Rowlandson, cabinet member for resources, investment and assets, said: “We are delighted to have submitted our five funding bids this week.
“We are committed to regenerating our communities and seeking the very best outcomes for our residents and this funding will support these ambitious aims.
“Having already secured £20m for our Bishop Auckland constituency, we are really excited at the prospect of delivering schemes worth a further £131m across the rest of the county.
“The proposals will help to connect communities, regenerate our city, town centres and villages and enable all residents to engage in culture. It will also help us to attract external investment, ensuring that we have a thriving county. We hope to be successful when the bids are announced this autumn.”
Other areas of the county included in the bid cover Durham city, Horden, Stanley, Willington, Crook and Tow Law.
The outcomes of the funding bids are expected to be announced in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, with the council continuing to develop projects to ensure programmes can be delivered if the bids are successful.