Hartlepool regeneration work set to top Â£60million
Ambitious regeneration projects are expected to see between Â£50million and Â£60million invested in Hartlepool over the next few years.
That is the estimated value of numerous planned and ongoing improvement projects across the town.
Regeneration chief Councillor Kevin Cranney told businesses at the launch of a new forum yesterday it is intended for the various schemes to be completed by 2025 – the year the Tees Valley is bidding to be named City of Culture.
An update on the various projects was presented by Hartlepool Borough Council to businesses at the first meeting of a new Hartlepool Economic Regeneration and Tourism Forum.
• A major redevelopment of the marina waterfront area including the vacant former Jackson’s Landing site with four star hotel, a modern museum, events space and watersports centre
• Extension of the National Museum of the Royal Navy including arrival of a Second World War motor rescue ship
• Creation of an Innovation and Skills Quarter (ISQ) including renovation of Church Street, Church Square, turning the former Whitby Street Post Office building into The BIS for start up businesses
• £1.3 work at Seaton Carew including new play and public facilities on The Front
• £1.2m to improve appearance and connectivity on Stockton Street and create a sense of arrival to the town
• £18m Elwick bypass and planned new western corridor road linked to plans to build 6,000 new homes in the next 10-15 years
Coun Cranney, the council’s chair of regeneration said: “Hartlepool is a wonderful place.
“We are one of the fastest growing places in the Tees Valley.
“We may have lost £20million as a local authority but we have been able to secure lots of grants to actually start regenerating the town.
“Our next phase will be the development of the waterfront.”
Coun Cranney said £20million of investment had already been secured and the majority of the schemes are aimed to be complete by 2025 saying Hartlepool will be a key part of the City of Culture bid.
Denise Ogden, the council’s Director of Regeneration and Neighbourhoods, said work was progressing in Church Street and Church Square to make them more attractive and pedestrian-friendly.
She said: “We need to make sure when you walk out of the railway station your first impression of Hartlepool isn’t what it is now which is a taxi rank and a few closed buildings.”
As previously revealed by the Mail the council is working closely with Cleveland College of Art and Design – soon to be renamed the Northern School of Art – on developing a film and TV studio on the site of the former council depot in Lynn Street.
TV hits Vera, George Gently and Victoria have all been filmed in Hartlepool in recent years.
Ms Ogden said: “There isn’t a film and television studio between Leeds and Edinburgh and this is a prime spot for that.”
Regarding the waterfront development, Ms Ogden added: “We have started to talk to some hoteliers,” adding she has held two meetings this week with interested parties.
Businesses were encouraged to be part of the growth and regeneration at the first meeting of the new forum held at Hartlepool College of Further Education.
Coun Cranney added: “Without businesses we can’t grow Hartlepool.”
Peter Olsen, chair of the forum, said: “It has been a very good launch event.
“The idea is to brig businesses and the tourist industry together to discuss topics of interest and interface with the council.”
Among businesses there included TMD Friction Seymour Civil Engineering, Hart Biologicals, J&B Recycling, and Expanded Metal.
Key regeneration projects coming and already underway
The BIS – The former Post Office building and Chicago Rock nightclub in Whitby Street is being transformed into a £3million hub for creative industries.
Working with the College of Art and Design and funded by the Tees Valley Combined Authority the building is being refurbished and extended to create 28 units for start up businesses.
It is planned to open in December and aims to prevent a ‘brain drain’ of young talent leaving Hartlepool.
Church Street and Church Square – Work is well underway on a £3.4m revamp of the area including new paving, the removal of street clutter and large trees in Church Street to make it more open and pedestrian-friendly.
Church Square will be pedestrian only, with new trees, seating and landscaping and a new road access to the art college from the top of Church Street.
Stockton Street – £1.2million will be spent to create a sense of arrival into Hartlepool by removing the central reservation wall, adding banners and creating a new right hand turn into the multi-storey car park
Waterfront - Plans are for a four star hotel, modern museum with a naval or sea theme new watersports centre involving Hartlepool Marina, shops and events space.
Work is due to start this year on an interim New York style liner park around the perimeter of the site.
Seaton Carew - A £1.3million scheme is well underway to revitalise the seafront including a new outdoor leisure park with water jets, play area, picnic tables and beach huts.
A new sculpture by Hartlepool artist Stuart Langley called Waves is due to be unveiled very soon.
A 10-hole crazy golf course, by a private investor, won planning permission earlier this year.