New signs will signal the way ahead for Hartlepool

The new boundary signs planned for Hartlepool.
The new boundary signs planned for Hartlepool.
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New boundary signs will go up across Hartlepool next month - and council officials see it as a statement of intent for changes to come in 2017.

Five new signs, saying ‘Welcome To Hartlepool - Home of the National Museum of the Royal Navy’, will be positioned at key entrances to the town in the New Year.

Christopher Akers-Belcher and Gill Alexander. Picture by FRANK REID

Christopher Akers-Belcher and Gill Alexander. Picture by FRANK REID

They will be erected at the A179, the Coast Road, at Seaton Carew and at two points on the A689.

“People will know they are in Hartlepool once they see those signs,” said borough council leader Coun Christopher Akers-Belcher, who described them as “stunning”.

“All of the boundary signs in and out of Hartlepool are going to be changed because we want to articulate the ambition that we have for the town. They should be in by the end of January.

“It is what gives people the feelgood factor about the town.”

All of the boundary signs in and out of Hartlepool are going to be changed because we want to articulate the ambition that we have for the town. They should be in by the end of January. It is what gives people the feelgood factor about the town.

Christopher Akers-Belcher

The boundary welcome signs are described by council officials as at least twice as big as they ones they are replacing and stand around 12ft high and 8ft wide.

Council chief executive Gill Alexander said the significance of the museum’s inclusion on the signs “should not be underestimated if you think of what the Imperial War Museum did for Salford, and things like that. It is really big.”

She said the signs were “really good visuals. People are proud of Hartlepool, so we should capture that really, and be proud as people enter.”

Another plan to show off Hartlepool is a proposal for two statues linked to Ridley Scott, a former art student in Hartlepool.

Ridley, who made Boy & Bicycle in 1965 in Hartlepool, and went on to make cinema classics such as Alien and Bladerunner, used the central theme of a boy on a bicycle again in 1970 in the Hovis bread advert.

The council has submitted a £600,000 bid to the Coastal Community Fund and part of that money would be used to fund the statues, which would be erected on the seafront at Seaton Carew and near the interchange in Church Square,

Gill said: “It will also be part of how we are encouraging people to get active in terms of cycling, and it will be public art along the cycle routes.”

The proposals for the Ridley Scott statue form part of a public art strategy linking the ongoing Innovation and Skills Quarter in Church and Seaton Carew.

A decision on the Coastal Community Fund bid is expected to be known in April.