Multi-million-pound Hartlepool investment plans are not 'pie in the sky'
Councillors have called on residents to get behind multi-million pound investment plans – stressing the ideas are not "pie in the sky" but happening now.
Hartlepool Borough Council’s economic growth and regeneration committee have been provided with an update on projects and funding planned for the town in the coming years.
This includes the £50million capital programme, approved in January 2020, which will fund projects such as the new Highlight leisure centre.
Hartlepool also discovered this June that it was successful in receiving £25million from the Towns Deal while the council recently submitted a £20million bid to the Government’s Levelling Up Fund for more cash.
Councillors on the committee said it is an “exciting time” for Hartlepool with the projects planned.
Labour councillor Pamela Hargreaves said: “It’s huge, but I’m sick of hearing on social media all of the naysayers and all of the people who do everything down.
“We’re not perfect, and there are lots of challenges, but there’s a lot of positive stuff going on too.
“It’s not pie in the sky, it’s now, it’s happening, you will see change.”
Conservative councillor Mike Young, the deputy council leader, added they have been “very careful” in raising aspirations for projects, focusing on consultations for improvement plans, as opposed to creating artist illustrations.
He said: “We were very, very keen to go, what can we do, what is possible and what does the capital programme need to look like for the town.”
Independent councillor Paddy Brown, the chair of the committee, added it is important they communicate to residents the benefits these projects will bring to Hartlepool.
Other projects to benefit from the £50million capital programme include the expansion of the National Museum of the Royal Navy and work on the Waterfront public realm events space.
In total five schemes are earmarked to benefit from the £25million Towns Deal, including the re-imagining of Middleton Grange Shopping Centre and the transformation of the derelict Wesley Chapel into a hotel, with all projects planned to be completed by 2026.
Meanwhile if Hartlepool’s Levelling Up Fund bid is successful, the £20milllion would be used on projects such as a new cycling and pedestrian bridge to better link the Waterfront, town centre and railway station.
A decision on the outcome of this bid is expected in autumn 2021.