THERE are some good things happening in Seaton Carew at the moment.
Over the next couple of years, despite the difficult financial climate, I am confident we will see multi million pounds of investment going into Seaton over a number of sites.
It’s fair to say that over recent years there have loads of public consultations, plans and strategies for Seaton but financing these ideas has always been a problem.
Seaton doesn’t have the levels of deprivation that would enable the area to qualify for the kind of funding that other areas in the town have benefitted from over the years.
We have managed to grab bits and pieces of funding from time to time to spruce up Seaton now and again but there hasn’t been a sustained program of investment.
The clock tower was renovated a few years ago, there was some piecemeal investment into some of the shop frontages a while ago and the public realm along the promenade has been much improved.
Apart from that, big money has been hard to come by for Seaton Carew and the last 10 years have been a constant battle for investment.
A few weeks ago, Hartlepool Borough Council signed up a developer to help deliver a masterplan for four sites in Seaton which will not only bring into use the former fairground site and the Longscar centre as well as developing housing on two other sites but will also generate a further £7m for the Council which will also be spent in Seaton.
Added to that, I am expecting a deal to be finalised by the end of this week on the transfer of the Mayfair centre which will trigger millions of pounds of investment into that site with the construction of a sports and leisure development and a housing development.
I don’t want to jump the gun on any of this and I certainly wouldn’t mention it if I wasn’t supremely confident that Seaton is on the verge of some magnificent changes over the coming months.
We will even see the capping and landscaping of the landfill sites to the north of Seaton.
For years I’ve heard scores of complaints from residents living in Seaton Carew that they feel like the forgotten part of the town and although they definitely hadn’t been forgotten, I can sympathise with their feelings.
That will change from now on and I hope that many residents of Seaton get involved in the imminent consultation on the masterplan.
Many have in the past and I can’t blame you if you feel a bit over consulted and have seen very little progress.
The difference is that there is some real and significants amounts of money going to be spent in Seaton and you can have a major role in shaping how a lot of it will be spent.
There are some fantastic opportunities on the horizon and, at a time when there is so much doom and gloom around, let’s grab these opportunities and make the very best out of them for the benefit of Seaton Carew and Hartlepool.
I, for one, am extremely excited about what is going on around Seaton at the moment. Having been deeply involved in putting together some of the plans and strategies and helping to facilitate some of the ideas, I can really see it all starting to come together and I believe we are on the cusp of some great things.
The start of a bright future for Seaton Carew should kick in by the end of the week with the completion of the sale of the Mayfair centre. There are good times ahead.