Council bosses are looking to spend £60,000 on ‘urgent repairs’ for a derelict building in Church Street as part of the area’s regeneration.
A report to go before Hartlepool Borough Council Finance and Policy committee states it is looking to spend £60,000 to fund structural repairs at 16 Church Street, the site of the derelict Shades Hotel.
The money comes after the council approved the allocation of £128,000 in May last year to support businesses in Church Square impacted by the regeneration by implementing a Business Support Grant scheme.
However after contact with businesses and site visits, only £58,000 has been allocated for grant support, leaving £70,000 to be reallocated.
A report from director of finance and policy, Chris Little states the council wants to use £60,000 on the restoration work to make the building safe in preparation for future ‘major renovation’.
The remaining £10,000 would be transferred to complement the Townscape Heritage scheme to cover the whole of Church Street/Church Square.
The report said: “Officers have contacted business in the area to promote the scheme and have followed up with site visits and reminder correspondence.
“It is anticipated that existing commitments and forecast outstanding grant applications will commit £58,000 of the available budget.
“This will leave an uncommitted balance of £70,000.
“It is proposed…to fund urgent structural repairs to 16 Church Street to make the building safe until funding can be secured to undertake a major renovation as part of the regeneration of Church Street.”
This business support grant scheme was open to businesses with a rateable value of less than £20,000 and limited to a maximum grant per property of £1,900.
In July last year the council stepped in to buy the derelict Shades Hotel in Church Street.
The purchase was made with financial support from the Tees Valley Combined Authority.
Coun Kevin Cranney said at the time it gave the council control over a historic building which could become ‘an anchor’ in Church Street’s regeneration.
The building is Grade II listed and and was on Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register after being disused for a number of years.
The Shades Hotel opened in 1856 and closed in 1970, re-opening briefly as the New Shades.
The proposal comes as part of a capital budget update which will go before the finance and policy committee next Monday, when a decision will be made on the funding.
Nic Marko , Local Democracy Reporting Service