Hartlepool masterplan can have 'transformative effect' on town

Regenerating Middleton Grange Shopping Centre, improving the Waterfront and creating a new transport hub are set to form part of a new masterplan to shape future development in Hartlepool.

Tuesday, 9th November 2021, 12:21 pm

Councillors on Hartlepool Borough Council’s finance and policy committee will next week be asked to approve a new town centre masterplan after securing £25m of Towns Deal Funding money.

According to officers, the aim of the masterplan is to help “renew and reshape the physical environment to ensure sustainable growth in skills, jobs, accessibility and connectivity”.

The process has identified four key zones for change, around Middleton Grange Shopping Centre, Church Street, the Waterfront and the area surrounding Mill House Leisure Centre and Victoria Park.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Hartlepool's Middleton Grange Shopping Centre could be reimagined as part of a new masterplan for Hartlepool.

The plan details three “big moves to redefine the heart of the town”.

They include the reimagining of Middleton Grange Shopping Centre and “redevelopment, connectivity and public realm enhancements” to the Waterfront.

It also includes plans to create a new “transport hub” and a pedestrian/cycle bridge from the town to the Waterfront.

“Ripple effects” of such developments, according to the plans, could include promoting creative land use near Church Street, creating high quality housing in the town centre and helping integrate leisure facilities.

Land around Mill House Leisure Centre could also be improved.

A report from council director of resources and development Chris Little, to go before councillors next week, states the plans together can have a “transformative effect” on Hartlepool.

He said: “It focuses on the need to create a more consolidated town centre, with a unique heart and waterfront, developing a healthy economy to sustainably support the future of the town.

“The aim for the town is for the whole to become more than the sum of the individual zones.”

He added the interventions and projects within the masterplan all require “significant investment”, but noted the plan allows the council to have “ready-made projects on the shelf” for any future regeneration money.

The masterplan noted consultation carried out as part of its development showed 76% of the 71 businesses who responded thought the “quality of the town centre was a problem”.

Meanwhile 72% of the 463 residents who responded said they would visit the town centre more if the retail offer was improved.