Hartlepool housing group to move to Stockton due to ‘not fit for purpose’ building

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A HOUSING group insists it remains committed to Hartlepool despite revealing relocation plans after declaring its current town headquarters as “not fit for purpose”.

Housing Hartlepool, which is based at Greenbank in Stranton, will move to new offices in Stockton’s Northshore in 2015.

The decision to make the move has been made by bosses at Vela Group, which runs Housing Hartlepool, though the firm has moved to reassure tenants that the relocation will not impact on the 7,000 homes it runs in Hartlepool.

The firm has assessed all of its properties, including the Greenbank site, and decided to relocate to a central head office.

A spokesperson said: “We continue to be committed to Hartlepool, with 7,000 homes in the borough, and it is our intention to maintain a central base within the town to ensure customers are able to access the best quality of service.

“Vela, as a major North East housing group and employer, with more than 17,000 properties and 700 staff, needs high-quality office accommodation which is efficient, value for money, sustainable and fit for purpose to deliver the highest standards of customer service.

“As part of a wider accommodation strategy, the Northshore office, when complete, will become the main hub for the new group as Vela and Fabrick Housing Groups come together.

“Construction is about to start with a view to completion April 2015.”

Further details about the move were revealed on Vela’s website.

It said the current office space - including the building at Stranton - was “not fit for purpose and causes operational difficulties” and said there was “inconsistent and unfavourable lease terms on current offices”.

The statement added: “Northshore’s town centre and overall geographical location, coupled with the site being a significant regeneration scheme for the area, ultimately influenced its selection as our head office preference.

“This decision was made some time ago and a considerable amount of follow-up work has been carried out to ensure that the Northshore option represents not only the best solution for the organisation but also that it reflects value for money.”