'A place of reflection and hope for the future' - Hartlepool considers permanent Covid-19 commemoration

Council chiefs are to look how to commemorate the Covid-19 pandemic and the “amazing community work” which has come out of the past year.

Saturday, 27th March 2021, 7:00 am

After lighting up prominent Hartlepool landmarks – including Hartlepool Art Gallery at Christ Church on Thursday night – to mark this week’s anniversary of the first nationwide lockdown, Hartlepool Borough Council is now looking at a more permanent acknowledgement.

Possibilities include a sculpture at Hartlepool Waterfront although the public will be consulted first before any final decision is made.

The council’s managing director has talked about any project being “a place of reflection and hope for the future”.

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Christ Church was one of three buildings across Hartlepool to be lit up this week to mark the first anniversary . Picture by FRANK REID

Councillor Shane Moore, the leader of the council, has also stressed at a council meeting earlier this week: “It wouldn’t necessarily be a memorial per se because we don’t want to just focus on the negatives of this past year.”

Tony Hanson, council director of neighbourhoods and regulatory services, added: “In terms of Covid-19 members may wish to consider whether we should set aside a pot of money to commemorate Covid-19.

“We are currently working with the voluntary and community sector and will be undertaking some further public consultation as how best to mark the pandemic which we’ve gone through.”

In a report, he noted that a potential sculpture on the Waterfront could be integrated with the project.

Hartlepool Art Gallery, at Christ Church, is impressively lit up to mark one year since the onset of the first nationwide coronavirus lockdown.

Cllr Moore added at the meeting of the authority’s finance and policy committee: “I think it’s really important that we look at some of the huge positives that have come out of this past year as well, the amazing community work that’s gone in, the way that so many people have come together and helped each other.”

Denise McGuckin, the council’s managing director, said they had previously spoken of any Covid-19 project being “a place of reflection and hope for the future”.

Speaking at the same meeting, Cllr Sue Little said: “I think it’s brought a lot of communities back together, some people had lost that community spirit, but it’s been reinvented through the pandemic.”

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