Horden and Peterlee are to get a new railway station, the Department for Transport has confirmed.
A funding application made by Durham County Council to the New Stations Fund has been successful.
It means the station, to be located at South East View in Horden, will be up and running as early as 2020.
Under Secretary of State Paul Maynard MP said in a Department for Transport letter to Grahame Morris, MP for Easington: “As you may be aware, we announced £20m for a second round of the New Stations Fund in 2016, following the success of the first £20m round, which has already delivered passenger benefits in South Wales, the East Midlands, the South West and South East through new stations. We have funded this competition to improve journeys for passengers, and create new leisure, training, employment and business opportunities, by supporting the delivery of new and fully accessible stations.
“Durham County Council applied to the New Stations Fund to deliver the new Horden Peterlee station. Following the evaluation of all of the applications we received, I am delighted to inform you that we will be supporting this new station. This means that the new Horden Peterlee station will be benefiting passengers and opening up access to new rail journeys in the North East from March 2020 at the latest.
“Our priority is to deliver improved journeys for rail passengers across the country, and we look forward to this station providing real benefits to the people of Horden and Peterlee.”
A statement on Durham County Council’s website says: “A range of sites in Horden have been assessed and we have been working with Network Rail and other key transport stakeholders to identify a preferred viable site.
“The preferred site at South East View was chosen based on its suitability and how accessible it is.”
Cllr Simon Henig, Leader of Durham County Council, said: “We are delighted with today’s announcement from the Department of Transport, which marks a significant milestone in the project to create a railway station at Horden.
“The station, which we expect to be complete by 2020, will greatly enhance commuters’ ability to reach employment sites across the region and will be served by more than 20 trains a day heading north and south. It will also act as a park and ride, with spaces for more than 100 commuters.
“We believe it will serve as a significant focus for regeneration in this coastal community.
“There is already considerable support for this project regionally, with funding already in place from the North East Combined Authority and ourselves, and it is good to see this has now been nationally recognised.”