Council building shuts as services move to Hartlepool Civic Centre to make way for £9m college

Martin Raby Principle and Chief Executive Cleveland College of Art and Design
Martin Raby Principle and Chief Executive Cleveland College of Art and Design

A COUNCIL administrative building will close its doors for the last time next week to make way for a multi-million pound development.

The offices at 1 Church Street in Hartlepool will close at 5pm on Wednesday, March 25, with most staff transferring to the Civic Centre in Victoria Road.

Going forward we are looking to expand our student numbers by expanding the curriculum

Martin Raby, principal of Cleveland College of Art & Design

It means that enquiries about services such as allotments, car parking and driver training courses will be dealt with at the Civic Centre from next Thursday, March 26.

However, fleet and garage services will continue to be provided from the adjacent Lynn Street depot for the next few months until it is re-located to Tofts Farm, Brenda Road.

The Church Street offices and depot site is earmarked for the £9m new Cleveland College of Art & Design.

The new development will be an integral part of the Church Street Innovation & Skills Quarter, which has just received £5.5m of Government Growth Deal funding and is one of the eight sites in the Hartlepool Vision.

The disposal of the Church Street Offices also forms part of the rationalisation of council administrative buildings to save money and help protect front-line services.

The college was last month granted planning permission to build a new three-storey building on the site of the council depot Lynn Street.

College principal Martin Raby previously told the Mail after the meeting of the council’s planning committee: “We need to demonstrate the appeal of our offer to students.

“Going forward we are looking to expand our student numbers by expanding the curriculum.”

The college plans to invest £9.3m in its Hartlepool campus including demolishing its main college site in Church Square, which was built in the 1960s.

It will be replaced by at least 45,000 sq ft of purpose-built space to replace it in the vicinity.

The work at the Lynn Street depot site will involve demolishing workshops, garages and office buildings, refurbishing a two-storey office building and building of a new three-storey building.

That will house workshops, studio and seminar space, a 104-space car park and outside seating and amphitheatre in the middle of the development.