REGENERATION councillors have welcomed exciting plans for Hartlepool which will create new leisure, retail and tourist centres.
Members of Hartlepool Borough Council’s regeneration committee hailed the proposals included in a draft Masterplan as “absolutely fantastic”.
The council is working on plans which would create an “urban spine” to give a better connection between the town centre and areas such as Church Street, Trincomalee Wharf and the Hartlepool’s Maritime Experience.
The Masterplan is the first part of the council’s far-reaching Vision project, which was launched exactly a year ago.
An initial round of public consultation saw a good response with 628 responses.
And 94 per cent of people agreed the council was on the right track with the plan’s priorities.
Councillor Alan Clark said: “I think it’s absolutely clear the people of this town want change.
“In my opinion this is the right way ahead. We need to keep driving it forward because this is where we want to take the town.”
Coun Clark added new facilities should be disabled-friendly and said there would need to be better access between the railway station and marina.
Damien Wilson, the council’s assistant director for regeneration, said talks with Network Rail were underway.
Councillor Kevin Cranney said: “I think the aspiration of Hartlepool and the council is excellent. It is a wonderful vision.”
Council Rob Cook agreed, saying: “I think the vision for Hartlepool is absolutely fantastic and the majority of people are behind it.
“The more we do, the more jobs and money it will bring into the town.”
Committee chairman Coun Robbie Payne proposed the council goes into town schools to talk about the project.
Mr Wilson said that would be looked into.
Coun Clark supported the idea. He said: “After all, it is for the future generations.”
People can find out more about plans and comment on them at a drop-in session at Hartlepool College of Education, Stockton Street, on Tuesday, January 20, between 1pm and 2pm.
It is part of another round of consultation running between Monday, January 19, and Thursday, February 12.
There is an online questionnaire at www.hartlepool.gov.uk/masterplanconsultation.
People can also pick up a copy from Hartlepool Civic Centre, in Victoria Road, and the Central Library in York Road.