New £3m centre for creative industries in Hartlepool to open during spring as work nears completion

Work on a new £3m centre for the creative industries in Hartlepool is nearing completion.

Thursday, 21st March 2019, 4:51 pm
Updated Thursday, 21st March 2019, 4:53 pm
Hartlepool Borough Council leader Councillor Christopher Akers-Belcher (left) and Councillor Kevin Cranney, chair of the councils Regeneration Services Committee, inspect progress in one of the BIS units.

The BIS – ‘creating Businesses through Innovation and Skills’ – is being created in the refurbished and enlarged Grade 2-listed former Post Office building in Whitby Street and will be officially opened during the spring.

The conversion – which has been funded by the Tees Valley Combined Authority – is part of a wider Hartlepool Borough Council initiative to transform the Church Street area into an Innovation and Skills Quarter.

Open to both new and existing businesses in the creative sector, The BIS will have a comprehensive range of facilities including:

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* 28 units of various sizes – a mix of studios, workshops and office space;

* Two fully-equipped meeting/conference rooms;

* A visitor reception area, social space, shower and changing facilities and disabled access;

* Superfast broadband and comprehensive WiFi coverage;

* A monitored CCTV and alarm system.

A range of flexible easy in, easy out terms are available and The BIS will also offer specialist support to help its tenants succeed.

The council will run the centre with the support of the Northern School of Art, which opened its new £8m campus in Church Street in 2017.

Councillor Kevin Cranney, chair of the council’s Regeneration Services Committee, said: “It’s fantastic to see the building so near to completion.

“The BIS will provide an ideal environment in which new or existing businesses in the creative industries can grow and flourish, creating more local jobs.

“It will also help to keep the fantastic young talent coming out of Hartlepool’s colleges in the town when they graduate.”

Councillor Christopher Akers-Belcher, the leader of Hartlepool Borough Council, added: “The building is looking wonderful and will provide the perfect environment for business start-ups in the creative industries sector.

“Ultimately, The BIS will mean more students will be able to stay in Hartlepool to launch businesses instead of going elsewhere.”

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen added: “Thanks to our investment in Hartlepool, this new space will play to the town’s strengths in the creative sector, and support local businesses that are creating the jobs of tomorrow.

“With superfast broadband and a range of studios, workshops and office space, this top-quality centre will attract entrepreneurs and support home-grown talent for decades to come.”

Anyone interested in leasing one of the units should contact the council’s Economic Regeneration Team on (01429) 867677 or email [email protected]