A £500,000 influx has been revealed to boost the look of Hartlepool’s shopping centre.
Bosses at Middleton Grange are planning a rebrand, a facelift and a major push to bring in more business.
It all starts now and it is an ambitious scheme which has also seen the complex take on a new company to help lure in extra trade.
“We are thinking outside the box,” said the centre manager Mark Rycraft.
“This is a strategic redevelopment. There are plans to rebrand the shopping centre and we have already started on an internal repainting programme.
“The centre traditionally has been a sea blue colour and we started repainting the centre internally and externally in a battleship grey. It modernises the look and feel of the shopping centre.”
Another part of the work will see the mosaic tile effect outside the shopping centre, facing Victory Square and Stockton Road, replaced and modernised.
New signs are also on the way and Mr Rycraft added: “The landlords are spending hundreds of thousands of pounds on doing it.”
Middleton Grange owners Premier Property Group Ltd (PPG) will also be looking at ways of increasing catering and leisure in the shopping centre and Mr Rycraft added: “We are looking at opportunities to improve the appearance of Middleton Grange which is important for the community and the catchment area.”
He said the length of the campaign had not yet been determined as it was still in its early days. But he added: “It is almost like a gap analysis where we look at what we have got and what we have not got.
“It’s nothing specific but it is high-level strategy. Good, positive measures are being made with investment.”
The shopping centre has also taken on expert help to bring in “exciting new retailers.”
Commercial property expert Sanderson Weatherall has been appointed as a joint letting agent.
Sanderson Weatherall’s partner for retail Bob Fletcher praised Hartlepool as a town with should appeal to businesses.
He added: “We look forward to assisting the owners in attracting exciting new retailers to recognise the obvious merits of Hartlepool as a place to trade successfully.
“PPG has a number of improvements proposed for the scheme and we believe these will boost the prospects of Middleton Grange even further.”
Middleton Grange is the North-East’s third largest shopping centre and provides over 500,000 sq ft of retail sales accommodation across 130 separate units.
Mr Fletcher added: “We are delighted to have been appointed by Premier Property Group Ltd (PPG), the owners of Middleton Grange, at a crucial point in the strategic redevelopment of the scheme.”
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