A campaign to spread the best things about Hartlepool far and wide has been launched and is calling for everyone to shout about what makes Hartlepool great.
The Love Hartlepool campaign has been started in response to the negative image of the town portrayed on national television by programmes like Channel 4’s recent Skint Britain.
Leaders of Hartlepool Borough Council, which is kickstarting the campaign, said it was time to ‘take a stand’ against negative stereotypes and start shouting about its many good things.
Council chief executive Gill Alexander said they need residents and businesses to help form a coalition to help spread the message far and wide.
She said: “It’s about time we take a stand and we fight back.
“We know that our future lies in our ability to shout the praises of this town as a place to invest if you want to set up a business, as a place to come and live if you want to bring up a family, as a place to visit if you are looking for a really fantastic time in an area that has some of the most fantastic seascape, some of the most fantastic landscape and also some of the most fantastic people in the world.”
Two launch events were held yesterday at the Centre for Independent Living in Burbank and were attended by a number of councillors, council officers, businesses, the education sector and other key stakeholders.
People are being asked to use the power of social media by sharing photos of what they love about the town using the hashtag #LoveHartlepool.
And when people are away on holiday, or on business, they are urged to talk up the town.
The campaign has been launched after Skint Britain provoked a large public backlash from the town.
Council leader Councillor Christopher Akers-Belcher said: “People were saying to us ‘that is not our town’ and we had to do something, which is why we said we are going to have a campaign we could assist with but it was about pulling together all the key local organisations and the residents and perhaps working together for the good of the town.”
Hartlepool United chief executive Mark Maguire was among those at the launch.
He said: “I think it is a fantastic initiative on behalf of the local authority and something that we want to be front and centre of and fully get behind.”
A steering group of key supporters will be formed to co-ordinate the campaign over the next year which may have specific themes around areas such as Hartlepool’s music and arts scenes, community and voluntary organisations and the environment.
Anyone with ideas to boost the campaign can email: email@example.com