Rishi Sunak’s constituents hail £19million cash injection under levelling up programme

Rishi Sunak’s constituents hail £19million cash injection under levelling up programme… but critics cry favouritism

  • The home of the largest barracks in the British Army has been awarded £19m
  • This is part of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s ‘levelling up’ project 
  • Critics say the PM’s constituency has benefited from favourtism 
  • Locals say people needto visit the town to see that the grant is needed

It borders the stunning Yorkshire Dales and is less than a ten-minute drive from the beautiful market town of Richmond.

But Catterick feels a world away from its neighbour’s Georgian splendour and quaint tea shops – its planned new town centre is occupied by a boarded-up Londis and the rubble of a demolished swimming pool.

Now, the home of the largest barracks in the British Army has been awarded a £19million grant as part of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak‘s ‘levelling up’ project. Critics, who say the area (which includes Richmond, the PM’s constituency) has benefited from favouritism simply need to visit the town to see that the grant is very much needed, locals say.

Many of the 13,000 residents of the North Yorkshire town – known locally simply as ‘Garrison’ – agreed with Downing Street, which said it would be ‘ludicrous’ to be embarrassed at a pledge of money to help Armed Forces personnel and their families.

Now, the home of the largest barracks in the British Army has been awarded a £19million grant as part of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak¿s ¿levelling up¿ project. Critics, who say the area (which includes Richmond, the PM¿s constituency) has benefited from favouritism simply need to visit the town to see that the grant is very much needed, locals say

Now, the home of the largest barracks in the British Army has been awarded a £19million grant as part of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s ‘levelling up’ project. Critics, who say the area (which includes Richmond, the PM’s constituency) has benefited from favouritism simply need to visit the town to see that the grant is very much needed, locals say

Many of the 13,000 residents of the North Yorkshire town ¿ known locally simply as ¿Garrison¿ ¿ agreed with Downing Street, which said it would be ¿ludicrous¿ to be embarrassed at a pledge of money to help Armed Forces personnel and their families

Many of the 13,000 residents of the North Yorkshire town – known locally simply as ‘Garrison’ – agreed with Downing Street, which said it would be ‘ludicrous’ to be embarrassed at a pledge of money to help Armed Forces personnel and their families

Mental health nurse Lynn Murray, 48, who moved with her Army officer husband five years ago, said: ‘Bits of it are quite run-down, public transport links are terrible, and there isn’t much night-life. It’s a cheap shot to say it was given the money just because it’s in Rishi Sunak’s constituency.

‘This investment is badly needed – at the moment we feel like a poor relation compared to towns nearby.’

At an average of £166,638, house prices are barely half the national average, while the town has some of the highest rates of fuel poverty in North Yorkshire.

Florist Jodie McNabb, 48, who settled there 20 years ago, said: ‘It would make such a difference if this money breathes new life into the town – we might see some restaurants and bars opening up.’ Barber Mason Wood, 18, said: ‘It’s really boring here. I’d rather go out in Darlington, but it’s £60 for a taxi. We feel overlooked, so it’s about time this place got some help.’ Around half of the population are Army families or are employed at the base, while most of the rest grew up there as their parents were in the military.

Under plans in partnership with the Ministry of Defence costing £21million, a square will be built along with a glass pavilion ‘community and enterprise centre’, and new cycling and walking routes. The bid was put forward by Richmondshire District Council, run by an independent-Liberal Democrat coalition. Councillor Patricia Middlemiss, 73, said: ‘I’m delighted, because this town really needs a boost.

‘I’ve lived here all my life, and Catterick hasn’t had the same support that other military towns have had. So this award has definitely been made on merit.’

Council leader Angie Dale hailed the £19,008,679 grant as ‘great news for Catterick and the wider Richmondshire community’. Mr Sunak had no involvement in the grant, No10 said yesterday.

‘This town really needs a boost’

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