Hartlepool's crumbling Christ Church set for £245,000 repair work

Councillors have backed £245,000 funding plans for urgent repairs to a historic Hartlepool building.

Tuesday, 18th June 2019, 3:30 pm
Updated Tuesday, 18th June 2019, 5:30 pm
Scaffolding around the entrance to Christ Church, Hartlepool.
Scaffolding around the entrance to Christ Church, Hartlepool.

Temporary scaffolding and perimeter fencing has been in place since around the entrance to the historic building, which is home to Hartlepool Art Gallery, tourist information office and Vestry Cafe.

Council bosses have gone to a specialist surveyor and received an estimated £245,000 cost for repair work, adding urgent works are required to protect the site from further erosion and remove the risk of future incidents.

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Christ Church, Church Square.

In total £190,000 will come from funds earmarked for the Bowls Club, and £55,000 from the corporate planned maintenance programme.

Council bosses said the funding had been previously allocated to the Bowls Club project some years ago and recent surveys identified no urgent work is needed to the building.

Councillors on Hartlepool Borough Council Finance and Policy Committee approved the plans.

Council leader Coun Shane Moore said it was ‘a matter of public safety’ the work was done.

Denise McGuckin, council director of regeneration and neighbourhoods, said work was last done to the building in 1995 and the damage was due to weathering and erosion.

“It’s a listed building, we have a responsibility to look after it and we actually take enforcement action on other areas, so we have to practice what we preach,” she said.

“What we are doing is actually keeping that building open so that we can actually continue to get the income from that.”

She also noted as Christ Church is a listed building, it must be restored using traditional methods and materials, meaning repair work uses materials which cannot cure below five degrees Celsius without protecting the structure.

Council bosses are hopeful work will be completed by the autumn.

The proposals will now go to a full council meeting on Thursday for final approval.