Church Street plan moves a step towards reality

An artist's impression of Church Street.
An artist's impression of Church Street.

Ambitious regeneration plans for Hartlepool have taken a major step forward.

Councillors have approved construction work on the Church Street Innovation and Skills Quarter (ISQ) – subject to planning permission and formal approval of grant funding.

The fact that we are now at a stage of giving approval for construction work to start, subject to certain permissions and approvals, shows how determined we are to turn our vision for the town into reality

Kevin Cranney

The ISQ is part of the Hartlepool Vision, which is Hartlepool Council’s strategy for regenerating the town’s waterfront and town centre.

Councillor Kevin Cranney, deputy leader of the council and chairman of the Regeneration Services Committee, said: “The fact that we are now at a stage of giving approval for construction work to start, subject to certain permissions and approvals, shows how determined we are to turn our vision for the town into reality.”

One part of the ISQ is plans for 31 units in the former General Post Office building in Whitby Street. They are for businesses in the expanding creative industries sector. Work is due to start in August.

Others include pedestrian improvements along Church Street, and major works to pedestrianise Church Square and create a dedicated events space.

There are also plans for a new pedestrian crossing, highway improvements and traffic signal works on Stockton Street to provide better links between the town centre and Church Street. They include a new light-controlled right turn into the multi-storey car park.

The Church Street improvements will be done in phases to minimise disruption to traffic, pedestrians and businesses.

The news was given to a joint meeting of the council’s Finance and Policy and Regeneration Services Committees.

Work is due to start in July. The Church Square and Stockton Street works are expected to start in January and May next year respectively.

The ISQ has been awarded a conditional £5.5million from the Local Growth Fund by the Tees Valley Combined Authority, and the Church Street and Church Square elements will get £1.2million from the Heritage Lottery Fund, with formal approval expected in June.