PLANS to pump millions of pounds worth of investment into the Greater Eston area has moved a step closer to fruition after a regeneration masterplan was approved by councillors.

Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council is looking to use its investment of £3.68m to unlock more than £100m of external funding as it launches phase two of the rejuvenation of the area.

The plan follows phase one which unlocked £104m in external funding with £2.6m from its coffers.

Mark Hannon, the council’s cabinet member for economic development, said the scheme is vital to the continued regeneration of the borough and its long term prosperity.

Councillor Hannon said: “This next phase will shift the focus to address the challenges facing Greater Eston and is in addition to the East Cleveland Towns and Villages Investment Initiative.

“These schemes will deliver the stimulus we need to improve our environmental, social and economic prospects.”

Phase two of the masterplan will focus on South Bank, Grangetown, Teesville, Eston, Ormsby and Normanby under the Greater Eston Investment Initiative.

Examples of potential schemes include expanding industrial estates, improving retail areas, creating new neighbourhood centres, improving public realms and bringing empty buildings back into use.

Some concerns were raised about the poor level of public transport in the area which would have a negative impact on any jobs created as a result of any investment.

And Deputy Mayor and cabinet member for health and social wellbeing, Councillor Sheelagh Clarke called for action to be taken to ensure well paid jobs are created in the area.

She said: “I’m all for the plans if it means that we get better jobs for the people living in the area. There is no point bringing just low paid jobs and all the senior management posts going to people from the north, south, east or west of the Greater Eston area.”

Phase one of the masterplan delivered major transformational projects including South Bank Eco Village, Redcar sea defences and Redcar and Cleveland Leisure and Community Heart.

New education facilities, a health village, three major junction and gateway improvements on the A66 and a scheme to increase retail choice at Skippers Lane were also included.

Members of the council’s cabinet committee approved the scheme which will now have to be ratified at full council.