Labour leader Keir Starmer today applauded County Durham Labour’s ambitious plans to create tens of thousands of new jobs and revitalise the local economy.
Ahead of Thursday’s local elections, Starmer was joined in Durham by Labour’s Deputy Leader Angela Rayner. The pair met North East businesses developing projects across the county and also visited Durham Miners’ Hall in Redhill, which recently secured a £4.5m redevelopment grant.
Starmer and Rayner praised Labour-led Durham County Council’s vision to deliver 30,000 new jobs in the county, while protecting existing employment, as the recovery from coronavirus continues.
Speaking in Durham, Keir Starmer, Leader of the Labour Party, said: “At next week’s elections there is a very clear choice: Labour candidates who will be relentlessly focused on jobs, tackling crime and supporting your health. Or the same old Tories: sleaze, waste, one rule for them, and another for everyone else.
“I’ll be back in the North East today, in Durham and Hartlepool, making that argument. The Prime Minister may not know the value of the pound in his pocket, but we know you do. The least people should be able to expect from their government is that taxpayers’ money is spent wisely. Under my leadership, it will be.
“Labour is focused on ensuring your neighbourhood is a great place to grow up in, grow old in and live. Our priorities are your priorities – supporting business, creating jobs, making neighbourhoods safe and protecting the NHS.”
Three projects alone are forecast to create around 10,000 jobs in the very near future, Integra61 at Bowburn, the Forest Park extension at Newton Aycliffe and the Jade Business Park near Seaham.
Deputy Leader, Angela Rayner, said: “Last year was the first year in two decades that I wasn’t able to get up to Durham because of the pandemic. I love absolutely love Durham – the people, the history and the spirit of solidarity all run through my veins.
“It was great to speak to North East businesses who are working side by side with a Labour council to deliver for the area. Labour is absolutely committed to delivering the good, well-paid jobs we need here in Durham and across the North East.
Over 8,000 businesses have been supported by the swift and efficient allocation of £100m grant payments and the Labour-led council has also paid out a further £23m in COVID support grants since September.
Durham County Council has also recently allocated £25 million for investment in towns and villages across the county, part of a wider £750 million investment, as well as bringing back into use derelict land and general environmental and housing improvements.
County Durham Labour Leader, Simon Henig, said: “It was fantastic to welcome Keir to County Durham and demonstrate the scale of our ambition and outline our determination to bounce back quickly and sustainably as lockdown restrictions ease.
“We have been bold. We have been ambitious. And, above all, we have been determined to create the locations and environments for businesses in County Durham to thrive. There are few places in England that can match our ambition and even fewer that have worked so hard to lay the groundwork for the creation of 30,000 new jobs.”