Plans to unlock Government funding for Derbyshire have moved a step closer.
The Government has announced that 44 new areas across England have been shortlisted for a slice of £4.1billion in Housing Infrastructure funding to provide vital structures and facilities like roads, bridges and schools.
For the East Midlands, that could mean funding of up to £100million for new infrastructure which would support the two HS2 stations proposed for Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.
Last summer, the Government confirmed its preferred route for HS2's 'Phase 2b' line, part of which will travel through Derbyshire.
The line includes plans for a HS2 maintenance depot at Staveley and provision for HS2 compatible trains serving the current Chesterfield train station.
Councillor Barry Lewis, leader of Derbyshire County Council, said: "The creation of the HS2 maintenance depot at Staveley and the ability to serve Chesterfield with high speed trains will help transform Derbyshire’s economy bringing more jobs and more scope for local people to travel to employment.
"We've set out a comprehensive approach to integrating Chesterfield station and associated development areas into the town, and accelerating the regeneration of the Staveley corridor and key surrounding sites.
"This latest announcement gives us a vote of confidence in our plans and we look forward to working with colleagues in Chesterfield, Derby and Nottinghamshire to take our bid to the next stage," added Coun Lewis.
Nottinghamshire County Council is leading the bid for the funding on behalf of the wider region.
Further assessment of the bids will now take place, with Government officials working alongside the local bid team.
A final decision is expected in the autumn.