New £4m centre to open in Hartlepool today

The new Centre for Independent Living in Burbank Street.
The new Centre for Independent Living in Burbank Street.

A new £4million centre which aims to improve the lives of disabled people in Hartlepool is being officially opened today.

The Hartlepool Centre for Independent Living (CIL) will be unveiled later this morning.

The council has adopted a very innovative approach to this project which has brought a range of providers together under one roof to deliver vital services to the people of our town

Coun Christopher Akers-Belcher

A plaque will be unveiled at 11.40am by Sue Snowdon, the Lord Lieutenant of County Durham, with civic guests, staff and people who use the service to then be given a tour of the new development.

The three-floor building, based on the site of the Havelock Centre, in the Burbank area of town, is set to bring together a host of services in Hartlepool.

Hartlepool Borough Council services are being transferred from the Havelock Centre and the Warren Road facility at Oakesway, in a bid to improve the life chances of disabled people.

The council is behind the project, and will work with a number of other organisations to provide key services from the building.

Among those partners will be Tees Esk and Wear Valley NHS Foundation Trust and Thirteen Group, the town’s biggest social housing provider.

Community interest company Incontrol-able – which provides support to disabled people – will also be based there, as will the In Good Hands Project, which supports those with sight and hearing difficulties.

Many of the facilities will be available for public hire, with an events hall, training and meeting rooms, an ICT suite, cafe and spa pool all included in the development.

Coun Christopher Akers-Belcher, the leader of Hartlepool Borough Council, said: “We are delighted that the Lord Lieutenant of County Durham is visiting Hartlepool to officially open our brand new centre.

“The council has adopted a very innovative approach to this project which has brought a range of providers together under one roof to deliver vital services to the people of our town.”

Coun Stephen Thomas, chair of the council’s adult services committee, said: “It is a major achievement for the council to be creating state-of-the-art facilities for local people at a time when we are facing significant financial pressures.

“The new building will provide the very best services for people in our town with disabilities along with vital other facilities for the local community.”

The main contractor for the development is the council’s building design and construction section, while Gus Robinson Developments has carried out some of the sub-contract work.