£130,000 improvements to public toilets in Seaton Carew among funding agreed by Hartlepool councillors

Improvements are to be made in Hartlepool to cycling facilities, historic coastline sites and a bus station’s public toilets as part of a neighbourhood funding programme.
The Clock Tower, at the Bus Station. Seaton Carew. FRANK REIDThe Clock Tower, at the Bus Station. Seaton Carew. FRANK REID
The Clock Tower, at the Bus Station. Seaton Carew. FRANK REID

Councillors have approved plans for how an unallocated amount of £260,000 from the original £1.5m Neighbourhood Investment Programme will be used, following an underspend in the initial allocation.

Funding totalling £130,000 is to be allocated to improve the public toilet facilities at Seaton Carew bus station, which is a Grade II listed building, ensuring the essential facilities are of a ‘standard expected’ by users.

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Cllr Sue Little, Seaton ward representative, said she was pleased to see the facilities would be receiving funding, noting the Covid-19 pandemic has shown the popularity of the area for people exercising.

Summerhill in Hartlepool.Summerhill in Hartlepool.
Summerhill in Hartlepool.

She said: “I’m absolutely over the moon that Seaton toilets are going to be having a refit because they’re more than well overdue.

“Lockdown has shown how many people come, have a walk along the beach or the prom, and I think they’re well overdue.”

A total of £120,000 will be used to help the council to secure £250,000 of funding from the British Cycling’s Places to Ride Programme, to develop community cycling facilities and encourage residents to cycle more.

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The money will be used to create a 750metre floodlit cycle track at Summerhill Country Park, along with ‘learn to ride’ and ‘warm up’ areas, and spectator fencing and improvements to the existing BMX track.

Six adapted cycles will also be purchased to provide disabled people, their families and carers with equal access and opportunities, while a cycling activity programme will be developed at Seaton Park.

Finally £10,000 is to be used to carry out improvements to key sites along Hartlepool’s coastline as part of the SeaScapes scheme, which is supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

This will see funding be used as part of a ‘Hartlepool Lights’ scheme which will see repairs and restoration work to the Highlight located on the Waterfront and Beacon Tower on North Pier, both Grade II listed.

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Tony Hanson, council director of neighbourhoods and regulatory services, told the finance and policy committee the projects were supported by councillors at a members seminar.

He said all schemes selected for funding as part of the programme had to fall within an area of physical and social regeneration, contribute towards community wellbeing, and have a positive impact on community safety.

Overall the Neighbourhood Investment Programmes has benefited from funds provided from Thirteen Group and other third parties such as Mondegreen and Sport England, which has led to a total investment of over £2.75m in projects across the borough.

The funding pot for the programmes has also been made up using £1.5million of council investment via borrowing.

To date 28 projects have been completed, five schemes are in progress, while three have funding allocated.

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