Council needs to ‘shout from the rooftops’ after latest £42million funding success for Hartlepool

Councillors have praised Hartlepool for ‘punching above its weight’ after the latest £42million of external funding was secured for the town and said more is to come.

Tuesday, 12th March 2019, 3:04 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th March 2019, 3:08 pm
How Hartlepool Waterfront could look.
How Hartlepool Waterfront could look.

It comes after £42million was secured for the town as part of the £588million Tees Valley Combined Authority investment plan and takes the external investment in Hartlepool to over £160million in recent years.

The main investment is £20m allocated towards the Hartlepool Waterfront, which will also see the collapse of the Jacksons Landing loan for the site into a grant.

Hartlepool Borough Council leader Christopher Akers-Belcher and Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen.

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Also £8million is going towards the Western Growth Corridor, providing a new link road to the A19 and another £4million will go towards the delivery of film and television studios at the former bus depot in Lynn Street.

Finally £10million will be available for ‘indigenous growth’ in the town, £2million a year over the next five years.

Councillors said officers are not given enough credit for the ‘eye watering’ amount of funding secured.

Coun Mike Young said: “As a local authority we are punching way above our weight on every front and in terms of regeneration, what a fantastic group of officers we must have in order to deliver these kind of packages.”

Coun Rob Cook said: “I honestly don’t think as an authority we get enough plaudits for the hard work that goes on in this town.

“There’s always somebody out there who will always criticise without knowing all the ins and outs of every particular issue.

“At the end of the day we as an authority should be shouting from the rooftops the amount of money that’s come into this town through this local authority.”

Coun Shane Moore said: “It’s disappointing sometimes the great work that’s done in securing these monies and delivering on these schemes is often rubbished by people because the perception is we should have spent it on the hospital or policing, which are areas completely out of our control.

“The officers are valued and we do appreciate it. The amount of money, it is eye watering.”

In total since 2017, £22million has been secured towards developing Hartlepool, £86million in growing the town economy, £8million investment in neighbourhoods and £44million for regenerating the town.

Council leader Coun Christopher Akers-Belcher added the council will look to attract more funding to improve the town going forward.

He said: “It demonstrates we do get a hard time and it’s unwarranted we get a hard time because there’s a difference between revenue funding and making savings and capital funding that we’ve negotiated that we can invest in the town.

“It’s about creating jobs for the future, really it sets Hartlepool up for years to come.

“Things are moving all the time and there’s going to be more opportunities to get some funding. It isn’t just about the £42million, this is what we’ve got now but it won’t dampen down our ambition to get more and more investment in the town.”

Andrew Carter, assistant director for economic growth and regeneration at the council, added people were getting more ‘bang for their buck in Hartlepool’ than ever before.

Nic Marko , Local Democracy Reporting Service