Councillors were given an update on plans to develop the former Pulse and the former Scarlets buildings in Church Street at the Hartlepool Borough Council Regeneration Services Committee meeting on Wednesday, February 17.
Both sites were allocated as ‘key vacant buildings’ in the Church Street Conservation Area as part of the Townscape Heritage Scheme, which has now been revised and extended to November 2022 due to issues such as Covid-19.
Sarah Scarr, council heritage and countryside manager, said both sites have planning permission and different routes are being looked at by owners to develop the buildings going forward.
She noted the Pulse site has identified an occupier for part of the building, meaning they have stepped back from gaining a grant through the heritage scheme, while bosses behind the Scarlets site are pushing ahead with work as part of the scheme.
Ms Scarr said: “Pulse gained that planning permission, I think it was back in 2019 now, and they were also looking at, before the pandemic started, to find an occupier for one of their units on the ground floor.
“So they decided that with the occupier in place, they didn’t want to take forward the works to the upper floors, so they didn’t want to pursue the grant application.
“With regards to Scarlets, they now have planning permission in place, they just got that towards the end of last year, and they are working with their chosen architects and building surveyors to move forward with their proposals.”
It came after Cllr Brenda Loynes asked a question about what was happening to the buildings as part of the Church Street scheme.
The plans approved for the Pulse building give permission for it to be a site featuring a gin bar, student gallery and apartments.
Meanwhile planning permission was given for Scarlets to be converted into a cafe bistro and student accommodation.
‘Key buildings’ were initially going to receive a conservation grant which would cover the deficit between the costs of the works and the end value of the building.
However the revised scheme, backed by councillors, will now be a more conventional grant scheme, offering 75% of the total costs of the works, for all buildings in the Church Street area.