Almost £5million has been earmarked from Hartlepool council coffers for town improvement projects.
Use of one-off resources totalling £4,949,000 were agreed by councillors as part of this year’s budget process.
The Five Year Capital Plan includes £2.8million for regeneration priorities, including development of the waterfront and improvements to the Borough Hall. The money is to come from council reserves and uncommitted money from the 2016-17 budget.
Council leader Coun Christopher Akers-Belcher said the council will need to secure grant funding and private sector investment to deliver the plan.
He said: “We have a proven track record of success in this type of investment. We have already secured Local Growth funding and Heritage Lottery funding of £3.6million to invest in revitalising Church Street and Church Square. This will underpin the investment made by Cleveland College of Art and Design and Hartlepool College of FE a few years earlier.
“Critics may question why we’re spending such monies but the fact remains that this is external funding, dispelling the myth we are wasting council money.”
Of the £4.9million council money, £1,000,000 has been allocated to develop a programme looking at the use of buildings, including the closure of Hartlepool Law Courts.It will also reflect the development of four Community Hubs to unite council and other public services under one roof.
A sum of £493,000 will be invested in the Borough Hall, after a building survey highlighted necessary work.
Match funding of £2.8million has been earmarked for regeneration priorities including developing the waterfront around the marina, and relocation of sports facilities. And £287,000 has been allocated towards a planned revamp of Church Street and Church Square.
Coun Akers-Belcher added: “In addition, there is also £1.5 million for priorities identified by the public from the Your Say, Our Future consultation and this will be directed to neighbourhood estates investment.”