Green light for new multi-million pound college building on Hartlepool depot site

The former Lynn St bus depot
The former Lynn St bus depot

A HARTLEPOOL college’s ambitious multi-million pound expansion plans have taken a step forward after a bid for a new building was passed.

Cleveland College of Art and Design (CCAD) has been granted planning permission to build a new three-storey building on the site of a Hartlepool Borough Council depot in Lynn Street.

The development will contribute to the art college’s plans to attract students from all over the country and form a key part of the Church Street Master Plan project being led by the council.

The college plans to invest £9.3m in its Hartlepool campus including demolishing its main college site in Church Square, which was built in the 1960s.

It will be replaced by at least 45,000 sq ft of purpose-built space to replace it in the vicinity.

The work at the Lynn Street depot site will involve demolishing workshops, garages and office buildings, refurbishing a two-storey office building and building of a new three-storey building.

That will house workshops, studio and seminar space, a 104-space car park and outside seating and amphitheatre in the middle of the development.

College principal Martin Raby previously told the Mail: “We need to demonstrate the appeal of our offer to students.

“Going forward we are looking to expand our student numbers by expanding the curriculum.”

Planning permission for the scheme was granted by Hartlepool Borough Council’s planning committee.

Hartlepool’s Economic Development department said in a council report: “The proposals are in fact a key element within the Master Plan and will be an anchor for development to stimulate investment and economic growth activity in the Church Street area.

“The successful delivery of the proposals is absolutely essential to the future prosperity of the locality.

“The fact the college is expanding and raising its profile is important in raising young people’s aspirations.

“The expansion of the college is also predicated on attracting more students from around the UK and abroad and there are obvious benefits in increased spend in the local economy.”

Hartlepool Civic Society supported the college’s expansion describing it as “a wonderful opportunity and could herald an exciting new phase in the history of further and higher education in the town.”

But the society said it had big concerns about the anonymous modern design of the new building.

But English Heritage said it will provide a “much needed boost to the Church Street Conservation Area both in terms of creating more footfall and creating a stronger building line to both main frontages.”

The council agreed in principle last September to relocate its depot from Lynn Street to elsewhere in the town.