People have their say on Hartlepool masterplan

REGENERATION BLUEPRINT: Vice chairman of the meeting about Hartlepool's masterplan, Kevin Cranney
REGENERATION BLUEPRINT: Vice chairman of the meeting about Hartlepool's masterplan, Kevin Cranney

AROUND 120 residents and business people had their say on a regeneration blueprint which will shape the future of Hartlepool.

A drop-in consultation meeting was held at Hartlepool College of Further Education to discuss Hartlepool Borough Council’s Regeneration Masterplan.

Around 100 entrepreneurs turned up to hear about the plans, followed by about 20 members of the public.

Councillor Kevin Cranney, vice-chairman of the Regeneration Services Committee, said that overall people seemed really positive about the project.

He said: “Every table was filled with about 100 people from the private sector and the majority were very, very supportive of the idea.

“The Regeneration Masterplan is happening, it’s not about aspirations.

“There were a few doubts because a lot of businesses have heard this kind of talk before, but things are really starting to come into place now. Myself and Robbie Payne, chairman of the Regeneration Services Committee, are trying to be a driving force behind it all. We don’t just sit and make reports, we get involved.

“Most of the residents who came along loved the plans, and the main thing they would like to see is connecting the places up.”

He added: “Hartlepool is the destination to be and it’s exciting.”

Councillors gave the green light to the consultation exercise on the range of proposals to develop the town over the next few years.

GVA Grimely, 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, waterfront and the wider town centre.

The Masterplan lists a number of priority projects which it suggests the council should pursue.

They include:

• 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.

• 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.

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

• 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.

Consultation on the Masterplan runs until Thursday, February 12. There is an online questionnaire at www.hartlepool.gov.uk/masterplanconsultation, and people can also visit the Civic Centre and the Central Library where there will be information and questionnaires.

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

After comments have been taken onboard from the consultation, the Masterplan is expected to be finalised in March.