Last chance to have your say on leaders’ masterplan vision for Hartlepool

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HUNDREDS of people have had their say on a radical new regeneration blueprint for the town –- but time is running out for otherse to air their views.

Hartlepool Borough Council is behind the ambitious Regeneration Masterplan which forms part of the Hartlepool Vision to revitalise the centre of Hartlepool, spark the town’s wider regeneration and lay the foundations for its future prosperity.

GVA Grimley, the UK’s largest independent commercial property firm, is working alongside the council to help deliver the Masterplan which outlines what can be achieved on specific sites within the Marina, Hartlepool Waterfront and the wider town centre. In a recent report, Damien Wilson, the council’s assistant director (Regeneration), said: “The Masterplan will address a number of strategic aims including making Hartlepool a major leisure and visitor destination, improving shopping in the town and regenerating Jacksons Landing, Church Street and Trincomalee Wharf, through the development of bold but deliverable proposals.”

Residents of the town have already given their overwhelming backing to the Masterplan following an earlier consultation process when 94 per cent of residents agreed that the Council is on the right track with what it is trying to achieve.

So far over 250 people have completed the consultation questionnaire, but people have until Thursday, February 12, to air their views by visiting www.hartlepool.gov.uk/masterplanconsultation

The Masterplan lists a number of priority projects which it suggests the Council should pursue. They include:

l Working with the National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN) to develop a tourist attraction of national and international significance in the heart of the Marina. This could include the NMRN incorporating the former Jacksons Landing building as part of any future development.

l Major improvements to the Middleton Grange Shopping Centre including improved frontages onto Victory Square and relocating the Mill House Leisure Centre alongside the shopping centre.

l Improved connectivity, including major improvements to Church Street, to link the shopping centre, Church Street and the Marina.

l The creation of a ‘skills quarter’ in the Church Street area – including the building of a new Hartlepool College of Art & Design – to help attract students from far and wide.

Councillor Robbie Payne, chairman of the Regeneration Services Committee, said: “Despite the huge financial constraints being placed on the council by the Government, we remain extremely optimistic about the town’s future and have a clear vision for what we want to achieve.’’

For further information, contact Rob Smith at the council on (01429) 523531 or email: rob.smith@hartlepool.gov.uk

Details of the final Masterplan are expected to be published next month.