Why awarding-winning Hartlepool business centre is The BIS

Council chiefs in Hartlepool have praised an award-winning business centre - stating it is “ahead of schedule” in terms of progress made, despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

By Nic Marko
Wednesday, 29th September 2021, 5:54 pm
Hartlepool's BIS building, in Whitby Street.
Hartlepool's BIS building, in Whitby Street.

The BIS – a centre for “creating businesses through innovation and skills” – was created through the refurbishment of the Grade II-listed former Post Office building in Whitby Street.

It opened in 2019 and is home to 28 units of various sizes, including a mix of studios, workshops and office space.

Hartlepool Borough Council’s economic growth and regeneration committee this week heard the site is now home to a wide variety of units in creative industries and is in a “really positive position” despite the pandemic.

Israr Hussain, economic growth manager, said: “We’re ahead of schedule in terms of where we thought we would be.

“The take up at the moment is 20 of the 28 are occupied, there’s a little bit of turnover at the moment.

“I think the really positive aspect was that during the pandemic and during lockdown especially, we didn’t have any businesses actually decide to shut up shop.

“In actual fact we’ve had the opposite, we’ve had a lot more enquiries than what we were anticipating, which is really positive.”

He added the site is home to a “whole bag of different businesses” under the creative banner.

These include people doing creative arts, IT, virtual reality, along with a business creating leather goods, and many of the companies are trading online, Mr Hussain added.

Its awards include the accolade of North East building of the year in the Royal Institute of British Architects Awards (RIBA) in August.