Hartlepool regeneration chiefs’ joy at business start-up rates

The former Zeus nightclub in Whitby Street

The former Zeus nightclub in Whitby Street

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Hartlepool is outperforming the Tees Valley and North East when it comes to the number of new businesses starting up.

But the town is still lagging behind national levels according to latest figures presented by regeneration officials.

We are doing more in terms of economic regeneration than other authorities

Councillor Kevin Cranney

Hartlepool saw 405 new businesses start up in 2014 which is a rate of 54 per 10,000 of the population, up from 355 on the previous year.

The rate for the Tees Valley area was 51 per 10,000 of the population and 45 for the North East.

Antony Steinberg, Hartlepool council’s economic regeneration manager, said: “We have been consistently above the North East rate for some years now.

“However, we still need a 21% increase to hit Great Britain rates so there is a significant demand to see greater levels of business start up.”

To date, Hartlepool’s government-backed Enterprise Zones, which offer reduced taxes and simpler planing rules, have attracted a total of £17.1 million of investment and created 199 jobs.

Hartlepool has achieved a third of the Tees Valley Enterprise Zone allocation and is reported to be the best performing within the Tees Valley.

Hartlepool’s Enterprise Zones include the Queen’s Meadow business park and Port Estates.

In his presentation to the council’s Regeneration Services Committee, Mr Steinberg said Hartlepool had benefited significantly over the last five years from various regional and sub regional grant sources.

Programmes including the Regional Growth Fund, Let’s Grow, and Tees Valley Business Compass local growth hub have resulted in more than £46 million of private sector investment.

They have also seen the creation of 259 jobs, £6.7 million in grants awarded and 528 jobs safeguarded.

Mr Steinberg added: “We have done quite well out of the regional and sub regional grant programmes.”

Committee chair Councillor Kevin Cranney said: “We are doing more in terms of economic regeneration than other authorities. We have made a commitment.”