Councillors have backed plans for a £207,000 renovation of a former takeaway building in Church Street.
The proposals are for 15 Church Street in Hartlepool, which was previously home to Mamma Mia’s and residential flats, and is joined on to the former Shades site.
Hartlepool Borough Council bosses acquired the property in August last year and will now look to renovate the site, with the ground floor becoming a shop or cafe, dependent on market demand.
The upper floors will also be renovated and offer two flats each featuring two bedrooms.
Councillors on the finance and policy committee unanimously approved the plans which will be paid for from £73,000 of grant funding, and £134,000 of borrowing, which would be recouped from income from shop and flat rent.
Coun Paddy Brown said: “Assuming the figures stack up that’s a great piece of work.
“It makes the town better, it has payback and will have continued payback long after the borrowing pays off, I think that’s great.”
Council chiefs said the purpose of the acquisition was to further the regeneration of Church Street and the town’s Innovation and Skills Quarter by renovating the property and bringing it back into use.
Andrew Carter, assistant director for economic growth and regeneration at the council, said they would be looking towards the end of the year when work would start on the project.
He added the site will not be let as a hot food takeaway as it would be ‘detrimental to the letting and management of the flats’.
A report from Denise Ogden, director of regeneration and neighbourhoods, said the work would further the regeneration of Church Street to benefit the town.
It said: “The property was acquired in order to promote the regeneration of Church Street and the broader Innovation and Skills Quarter.
“This can only be achieved through renovating the building and bringing it back into use as a shop and upper floor flats.
“At the time of purchase, the property had been disused for a considerable period and was in generally poor condition.
“Bringing the property back into use under proper management will help to discourage anti-social behaviour and crime in the area.”
The grant funding will be made up from a £35,000 contribution from Homes England, £30,000 of townscape heritage grants and £8,000 of Section 106 contributions.
The council currently has around 270 properties on its housing and revenue account, which the two new flats will add to.
The proposals will now go before Hartlepool full council next week for final approval of the borrowing for the scheme.
Nic Marko , Local Democracy Reporting Service