'Exciting times' for Hartlepool as £10million waterfront and business park plans move forward
Funding earmarked for Hartlepool Waterfront events space and the town’s business parks means ‘it’s an exciting time’ for the area, say town leaders.
Hartlepool Borough Council regeneration services committee has endorsed the projects which were earmarked for funding as part of £10million allocated to the area from the Tees Valley Combined Authority (TVCA) investment plan.
The external funding is earmarked to support economic growth projects, and is indicatively allocated to the area as £2million per annum over five years,
A budget of £2million each has been set out for both the Waterfront events space and business parks investment schemes, with both estimated to take 24 months to complete.
Council bosses will continue to work to identify future projects which can also be helped by the funding, but as part of the TVCA criteria projects ‘must improve jobs, visitor numbers, visitor attractions and business premises’.
Councillors backed the benefits the funding could have in the identified areas and for the whole town.
Coun Jim Lindridge said: “I think it’s an exciting time for the town, for business and leisure.
“The Waterfront development in partnership with the TVCA, that’s going well and I think the partnership work is showing that.
“From a business point of view if we’re generating extra business then obviously that’s going to be good for the town.”
Council officers said the Waterfront events space funding would help provide events to build on the success of the Waterfront Festival, which had ‘approximately 20,000’ visitors last weekend.
They also stressed the importance of making the business parks more desirable, adding it comes from talks with businesses.
Coun Christopher Akers-Belcher said: “Some of the thinking around the business parks improvement is we need to be a little bit more proactive.
“The more businesses we can encourage to come to the town, we will be a significant beneficiary of that.”
Coun Lesia Smith added: “The £2million on both projects can not be used to bridge any gaps within the council. It hasn’t cost us any money whatsoever and it has no effect on anything else.
“We can’t use that for anything else other than to make Hartlepool a better place for businesses.”