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Proposals must be ‘feasible’

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CONSULTANTS behind ambitious plans to transform the centre of Hartlepool say the regeneration blueprint has to be “achievable.”

Hartlepool Borough Council is behind the Regeneration Masterplan which forms part of the Hartlepool Vision and officials hope it revitalises the centre of Hartlepool and sparks the town’s wider regeneration.

Consultants GVA beat off competition to land the key role in helping the council deliver the Masterplan which aims to make Hartlepool a greater visitor and retail attraction, improve shops in the town, enhance public spaces and regenerate key areas including the council-owned Jacksons Landing site, Trincomalee Wharf and Church Street.

Richard Newsome, an associate with GVA, told a meeting of key stakeholders it is very much an open book adding it is vital people have their say on what they would like to see.

He said there was no firm plans for the Jacksons Landing site either adding: “We want to have a look at what people want to see on these key sites.”

Dozens of business leaders, developers and land owners met at Hartlepool’s Maritime Experience for the two-hour meeting which included an opening presentation.

There was then a chance for the invited guests, which included representatives from Hartlepool Marina and Middleton Grange Shopping Centre among others, to break into groups for a workshop session.

Mr Newsome said: “This is a masterplan for everybody in Hartlepool, something that will help drive the town forward.

“This will be a deliverable and achievable masterplan, not one that will just sit on the shelf.”

GVA have already highlighted a number of key issues including limited public funding opportunities, a need to improve leisure provision, attract more people to town and extend the length of stay of visitors.

Mr Newsome said the waterfront area presented a “key opportunity”, while the masterplan would also look at improving leisure facilities and also making Church Street a day-time attraction for visitors.

Antony Steinberg, the council’s economic regeneration manager, said: “We are now moving into the master planning phase and internationally-renowned GVA have been appointed and the first part is this consultation process.

“Key stakeholders are essential to the process and we need people’s buy-in and ideas to help drive it forward.”

Yesterday’s session followed two drop-in public consultation events on Monday. Consultation will continue and the masterplan should be complete by Spring 2015.

For information call (01429) 523531.

 

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