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Shops revamp in Hartlepool set to start next month

The shopping precinct at King Oswy Drive in Hartlepool. Pic: Google Maps.
The shopping precinct at King Oswy Drive in Hartlepool. Pic: Google Maps.

Council bosses said estate-based regeneration is key to the growth of Hartlepool ahead of a shop front redevelopment programme starting next month.

Hartlepool Borough Council leader Coun Christopher Akers-Belcher said work will begin next month on the redevelopment of the King Oswy Drive shopping precinct.

Hartlepool Borough Council leader Christopher Akers-Belcher.

Hartlepool Borough Council leader Christopher Akers-Belcher.

The council announced in June this year the outside of the stores will get a revamp with input from shopkeepers, with £290,000 set aside.

This is one of the short-term schemes backed by the Neighbourhood Investment Programme as part of the council’s £1.5 million plans to invest in regeneration, safety and the wellbeing in the area.

Coun Akers-Belcher said work to improve estates is crucial to attracting and keeping people in the borough.

He said: “We are doing big things about infrastructure, it’s always about putting something on the estates people in Hartlepool want to see.

“We want people to be able to be proud of their estate.

“It’s about making an impact and driving people into the area.

“Residents locally want and need to be invested in.

“We want to keep them here and grow Hartlepool.

“The town has a vital role to play in the Tees Valley, it’s a really important place and has a lot on offer.”

The council leader also outlined a number of projects which have shown further examples of improvements in estates.

This includes the annual wildflower meadows initiatives, which has seen the council plant more than 40 of the sites planted across the town since it was introduced in 2014.

Earlier this year the council’s Finance and Policy Committee agreed to allocate between £1.6million and £2.4million of additional funding to improve the town’s roads and pavements.

This is in addition to wider developments such as the £18milion Western Growth Corridor project with the Tees Valley Combined Authority which will provide an extra route into the town and unlock land for housing development.

Additionally Coun Akers-Belcher pointed to the success of the council’s holiday hunger scheme and offering free summer swimming sessions for children, which 10,000 children took advantage of last year.

He said: “There is some fantastic cultural regeneration work going on over in Church Square and the former Post Office being transformed into The Bis.

“But people want to see change in their local estates as well.

“It’s all good news for the area, it’s improving estates, it’s bringing more people in and it’s creating new jobs.

“It’s about keeping people here in Hartlepool and showing what we’ve got to offer.”

Nic Marko , Local Democracy Reporting Service