TALENTED art students have seen their work go on permanent show at a new £4.7m Hartlepool business centre.
The new extension to the Innovation Centre, on the Queens Meadow Business Park, welcomes its first tenants within weeks.
Staff will arrive to find the walls adorned with 13 pieces of art created by six students on the foundation diploma course at Cleveland College of Art and Design, which has campuses in Hartlepool and Middlesbrough.
Simon Hamilton, the regional manager for UK Steel Enterprise, which runs the Innovation Centre, said: “We knew there was a lot of talent in the area, but were surprised by how much.
“The college made a shortlist suitable for our ideas, the new building and the relevant spaces and we chose the final thirteen.
“They include abstract works, very striking paintings in bold colours and some with an industrial influence. They will all look wonderful in Hub Two and bring a lot of pleasure to tenants and visitors. We are delighted to give talented local students from one of our steel areas some well-deserved recognition.
“When it came to buying artwork for the reception, staircases, meeting rooms and other communal areas we decided we wanted original artworks and not just the usual selection of office prints.”
The Innovation Centre extension, financed by UK Steel Enterprise with support from One North East, Tees Valley Unlimited and Hartlepool Borough Council, provides 46 new offices.
It almost doubles the size of the centre, which opened in 2005, and more than a quarter of the offices have already been reserved by new and expanding businesses.
The six students whose work was chosen were Jess McCue, from Billingham, James Mulligan and Zoe Plant, from Stockton, Lucy Hargan, from Northallerton, Karen Weaver, from Newton Aycliffe, and Julia Ferguson, from Hutton Rudby, who is now studying in Manchester.
Sue Dewey, lecturer at Cleveland College of Art and Design, said: “We would love to do more projects like this with local companies and organisations.”