A hub which will turn out designers and artists for generations to come has officially opened.
A ribbon cutting ceremony was held at Cleveland College of Art and Design’s new £11 million Church Street campus, bringing together students, staff and dignitaries to celebrate.
It marked another milestone in the project, which secured funding in 2014 and now houses teaching space, studios and workshops.
The college is also working in partnership with Hartlepool Borough Council on a creative enterprise facility in the former Post Office in Whitby Street, which will house 100 professionals in 31 start-up businesses once it opens next year.
College principal Dr Martin Raby said he wanted to champion all those who helped turn the plans into a reality after the land was acquired from the council.
He said: “There are many organisations and individuals involved in helping and supporting this project to make it to this occasion.”
With this building, we see even more evidence of the key role that this college plays in anchoring within Hartlepool.Professor Madeleine Atkins
The ceremony was led by Professor Madeleine Atkins CBE, chief executive officer of the High Education Funding Council for England.
She said: “With this building, we see even more evidence of the key role that this college plays in anchoring within Hartlepool. “These Church Street facilities are absolutely fantastic buildings.
“We recognise and congratulate the continued success of this jewel of a college, achieved in no small part down to Martin and his senior team, but also that partnership between the council and of course the Tees Valley Combined Authority.
“There is an intensity and vision behind this partnership and together, we are now looking at this major hub.
“I wish you every success in this venture and I am just delighted to be here today and watch the next step on your journey.”
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen added: “We need to support institutions like CCAD because it is such a fantastic beacon within the Tees Valley that we should be able to speak about and export to the rest of the country.”
Among the students to watch the ceremony was Amy Noris, 21, who is studying costume interpretation with design.
She said: “It’s really cool because the building lets in a lot of light, and it’s not just functional, but a really good place to work.
“I’ve got two favourite parts, and one is the outside, because it changes colour as you move round, and the other is the big windows.
“We were here the other night as the sunset and it was gorgeous looking out watching it over the Hartlepool skyline.”