Student accommodation plans 'will give boost to Hartlepool' and provide learners with proper homes, meeting told
Plans to bring more student accommodation into Hartlepool have been praised as a boost for the town.
It comes after Hartlepool Borough Council Regeneration Services Committee were informed of a student accommodation needs assessment launched to examine the existing offer and look at aspirations for future provision.
The study will involve discussions with providers of further education from across the town.
Currently the majority of higher education students in the town attend The Northern School of Art in Church Street, but Hartlepool College of Further Education (FE) and the Hartlepool 6th Form College both now also offer some higher education provision.
The study will include looking at plans such as those submitted earlier this year by businessman Rob Collier & John Wood MBE, of Advanced Retail Solutions Ltd.
They revealed plans for student accommodation at land they snapped up to the rear of their newly refurbished Advanced House in Wesley Square, including the derelict Engineers Club.
They are looking to redevelop the one-acre site into a multi-million pound state-of-the-art, purpose-built student village, branded SV24, with 184 apartments, gated access, key-fob entry, CCTV and 24hr security.
Both Mr Collier and Mr Wood told the committee they supported the study into student accommodation and noted new developments will provide a boost to the town.
Mr Wood said: “It’s important that we have good safeguarding and that children are coming to Hartlepool to work and to hopefully keep them here longer.
“Especially in the town centre itself, it’s important we have them there because they will generate more money for the businesses in Hartlepool in the centre.
“The more people you’ve got in the town centre the better it’s going to be for the shops there as well.”
Mr Collier said: “We’ve done our own study into student accommodation in the town and we’ve gone to people like the FE and the arts college.
“Our study shows there is a demand of well over 400 students living in unfit accommodation across the town, very fragmented from Dyke House to Brierton and we’ve got that study and I’m more than happy to share that.”
Andrew Carter, council assistant director for economic growth and regeneration, said the study into student accommodation should be complete by the end of autumn and help lay out plans for the future.
He said: “We’ve all seen that Hartlepool has began to experience growth in student numbers.
“The growth of the student population is anticipated to increase but as yet we don’t know what they are actually going to transpire to be in the future.
“There is a need there and the council is stepping in and meeting that need now, all we need to establish with this report is what extra is needed and whether the council or private sector will meet that need going forward.”