I will be pushing the Prime Minister for the investment the town needs - Mike Hill MP

Everyone knows, or should know, that the most iconic symbol of all that is great about our region, The Angel of the North, was built in Hartlepool.

Thursday, 16th January 2020, 10:00 am
HMS Trincomalee, "not a bad replacement" for Warrior and the "jewel in the crown".

And everyone knows, or should know, that here in Hartlepool in the late 1970s and early 80s we were entrusted with the full restoration of the first ever ‘iron clad’ warship commissioned by the Royal Navy, HMS Warrior, which, to this day, is proudly berthed in Portsmouth as part of the Royal Maritime Collection.

There are many fond memories of Warrior being restored in the Town and many arguments prevail that we should have kept her here, even at the expense of the Trincomalee, because of her importance in the history of the Royal Navy and our nation. Sadly, the reality is she was never really ours to keep and the Trincomalee is not a bad replacement; in fact, she really is a jewel in our crown.

Hartlepool historically has been recognised as being a vital port in the area. In medieval times the Headland was an important and thriving fishing village; the Staithes, protected as a historic site of interest on the Headland, remind us of the importance of the Town in the exportation of coal. The Heugh Battery reminds us of the sacrifices our predecessors gave in the First World War. Heerema on the Headland reminds us of the continuing skills we have here to build and construct fabulous maritime and sub-sea structures and, of course, at Seaton we have, at Able Seaport, a deep water harbour that is, quite literally, helping put Hartlepool on the map as being one of the safest and efficient places in the world for decommissioning oil rigs and ships.

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From the traditional sight of the sea coalers driving their burgeoning Land Rovers onto our beaches to rake up and gather the coal swept in by the tide, to the magnificent efforts by everybody who has helped restore one of the Dunkirk ‘Little Ships’, the MV Coronia, to its former glory in time for this year’s 80th anniversary of that event; the sea and our relationship with it here has been important.

That’s why our history, our tenacity, imagination and heritage puts us in prime place to embrace the future over the development of new green off-shore technology and to expand and develop our port to take advantage of and encompass new trading opportunities. We are world leaders in not only off-shore decommissioning but also nuclear power provision and steel production and fabrication. Our past is important and those in power in the Council need to promote that better, but our future is more important. Together we can and must make our Town a better place. I will be pushing the Prime Minister to make sure Hartlepool gets the investment in our power station, our steel base and our port that we need.