First business cases drawn up in Hartlepool’s ‘game changer’ bid for £25 million funding scheme

Business cases have been drawn up for two academies to be developed in Hartlepool as part of wider £25 million funding plans.

By Nic Marko
Friday, 22nd April 2022, 2:08 pm

In June, it was revealed Hartlepool’s ‘game changer’ application for the cash from the Government’s £3.6 billion Towns Deal fund had been approved , with five schemes initially selected to benefit.

Projects earmarked for funding include a new Health and Care Academy, which is pencilled in to benefit from £1.25 million, while £2.25 million is expected to go towards a new Civil Engineering Institute in the town.

Business cases have now been drafted, outlining more about the proposed projects, which are to go before Hartlepool Borough Council Finance and Policy Committee.

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A report for the panel, due to meet on Monday (April 25), says that, subject to approval, the business cases will then be submitted to the relevant Government department at the start of June.

It adds: “This latest stage of business case development marks a significant milestone in bringing two of the programme’s five projects to fruition.

“[This] will bring two new state of the art facilities to the town, deliver significant employment and training opportunities and stimulate economic growth.”

The “state of the art” Health and Care Academy would be located in Ward 10 of the University Hospital of Hartlepool site, according to the report, which notes there are “thousands of job vacancies for roles in the sector in Hartlepool and across the Tees Valley”.

It adds the business case shows it will include “£8 million of wage premium impacts for learners completing courses at the proposed academy”.

Approximately 3,388 would pass through the academy on an annual basis, with qualifications ranging from Level 2 to Level 5 diplomas, while seven full-time equivalent jobs would be created once completed, along with construction roles.

Meanwhile, the Civil Engineering Institute project is a strategic partnership between Seymour Civil Engineering Contractors and Hartlepool College of Further Education.

It will aim to “support the consolidation and growth of teaching and training capacity at the two existing sites, to enhance and future-proof facilities.”

Hartlepool Borough Council will act as the accountable body for the project, which will look to increase student enrollment across courses providing construction and civil engineering skills.

The business case notes as well as creating jobs during the construction phase, the development should offer a “net wage premium growth of £24 million”.

It adds 1,081 students should come through the Seymour academy at Brenda Road on an annual basis gaining construction qualifications, along with a further 400 completing welding and engineering courses at the Exeter Street annexe.

Both schemes are considered affordable throughout their capital and operational phase and ensure “ongoing project viability and long-term sustainability of the facilities”, according to the reports.

Other proposals earmarked to benefit from the Towns Deal include the re-imagining of Middleton Grange Shopping Centre, transforming the Wesley Chapel, and improving connections between the marina, railway station and town centre.

Business cases for these schemes are expected to go before the next meeting of the council’s Finance and Policy Committee meeting in June.