Council chiefs issued a rallying call to businesses and key stakeholders to help make Hartlepool a better place to live, work and play.
Hartlepool Borough Council’s leader and chief executive unveiled the authority’s ambitious three year plan at an event.
Councillor Christopher Akers-Belcher and Gill Alexander said 2017 to 2020 will be a “defining period” in Hartlepool’s history.
The three year council plan outlines how the council intends to regenerate key areas of the town, grow the population, and increase the number of businesses and investment.
Coun Akers-Belcher and Ms Alexander said the process has already started pointing to achievements such as the National Museum of the Royal Navy taking over the Maritime Experience and multi-million pound expansion of Cleveland College of Art and Design.
Addressing stakeholders at the council’s new £4m Centre for Independent Living building, Coun Akers-Belcher said: “It’s an exciting time for Hartlepool.
“Look around and you see what’s already happening, not just little green shoots; new builds, people wanting to invest in Hartlepool.
“Together I sincerely hope we can make Hartlepool even better and a place we can all be proud of.”
Around 100 people attended the launch event including local businesses, the College of Further Education, Middleton Grange shopping centre, and police and fire officials.
Among the goals of the three year plan are to create a visitor centre of international significance on the former Jacksons Landing site, and the renovation of Church Street and Church Square.
The council plans to see 6,000 new homes built in Hartlepool in the next 15 years to support economic growth and increase the town’s population.
Ms Alexander said the Council Plan came about after a realisation the council needed to do things differently and has been shaped by input from residents and other partners.
She said: “The plan is shaped around our hope and ambitions of this town.
“We think the next three years will be a distinctive time in the history of this town where you will begin to see the change that has already started go up a gear.
“It is not just rhetoric, it’s already happening.”
And she added: “We will only be able to deliver on the ambitions of this place if we work collaboratively.”
The event was supported by the Peter Bowes, Deputy Lord Lieutenant of County Durham.
He said: “It’s wonderful to be able to see first hand the ambitious but very much achievable goals that have been set.
“This is a town that I believe is full of opportunity for business, business growth and realisation of the aspirations of the young and old.”