Hartlepool’s Church Street a step closer to becoming ‘vibrant cluster’ of creative companies

An artist's impression of how Church Street could look.
An artist's impression of how Church Street could look.

The next stage in £7million plans to breathe new life into Hartlepool’s Church Street area has been approved.

Hartlepool Borough Council is leading the project to create a “vibrant cluster” of creative businesses in partnership with Cleveland College of Art & Design.

The creation of an Innovation and Skills Quarter aims to drive growth and investment in the area and redevelop empty properties.

A Project Initiation Document to help manage the scheme has been approved by the council’s Regeneration Committee.

It sets out time scales, identifies people’s roles and responsibilities and outlines the resources needed to complete the £7.35million project.

Damien Wilson, the regeneration department’s assistant director, said in a report: “The development of the Innovation and Skills Quarter offers the opportunity to redefine the Church Street area with additional daytime uses, an improved environment and a vibrant creative industries economy.”

He added: “The project will capitalize on the significant number of vacant properties which are not being redeveloped by the market and respond to the lack of small and medium sized enterprise workspace in the town.”

The council has provisionally secured £5.4million of Local Growth Funding from the Tees Valley Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

It is also applying for £1million from the Heritage Lottery Fund to conserve and repair historic buildings and features in the Church Street conservation area.

Upcoming milestones set out in the management document include creating early designs between mid September and late October and consulting with stakeholders from late November to December.

Councillor Paul Thompson said careful consideration would need to be given to traffic management during the work.

Coun Jim Lindridge said: “I think it’s absolutely fantastic we are putting plans forward to regenerate Church Street.”