Plans for new film, television and theatre school space at former Edgar Phillips site in Hartlepool

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A former electrical and plumbing firm site, which was later a council depot, could be converted into teaching and workshop space for film and television students.

Proposals have been submitted by Hartlepool Borough Council bosses to convert the former Edgar Phillips site in Lynn Street into a building to be used by The Northern School of Art.

It would be named ‘The Scott Building’ and would be renovated to feature four classrooms and a practical workshop for film, TV and theatre higher education courses.

It comes as plans have also been submitted to convert the neighbouring former bus depot into a new film and TV studio.

The site, called The Northern Studios, would be the North East’s first dedicated production facility capable of housing large scale film and TV production, if approved.

If both sets of plans are approved students would be able to work between both buildings which are next door to each other.

Pat Chapman, vice principal at The Northern School of Art, said: “As the specialist provider of education and training for the creative industries in the region, we are delighted to have taken this important next step in bringing about a new chapter of ambition and regeneration for the North East.  

“We have developed this project over a number of years, working with industry partners – alongside the development of our specialist courses – to ensure that the proposed equipment, space and facilities are fit for purpose.

“This is an exciting time for Hartlepool as we see investment in the regeneration and future of the town.”

A design and access statement from senior architect Mark Barlow on behalf of the council said the plans could provide several boosts to the area and improve the appearance of the current building.

It said: “This application represents a tremendous opportunity to not just regenerate a tired building and provide additional teaching space for a thriving college, but also make a positive contemporary architectural contribution to the townscape.”

The large scale workshop in the building would be named the ‘Edgar Phillips Workshop’ according to the plans.

The building was originally constructed for Edgar Phillips – a local electrical and plumbing firm – in around 1945 as a replacement for their original depot built circa 1920 on John Street which was bombed during the Second World War.

Edgar Phillips later relocated to Sandgate Industrial Estate and Hartlepool Borough Council purchased the site, using it as a depot until the redevelopment of the wider site for The Northern School of Art in 2016.

A public consultation event was held displaying the plans on October 31, 2018, which was unanimously supported by students and residents who attended.

A decision will now be made on the plans by the council planning department in the coming months.

Nic Marko , Local Democracy Reporting Service