Final proposals for the regeneration of Hartlepool’s Church Square have been released by council chiefs as plans reach the next stage.
The designs for the top area of Church Street around Hartlepool Art Gallery and Cleveland College of Art and Design have been produced following consultation with businesses and organisations in recent months.
They show plans for a circular events area with new trees and seating.
The council hopes work to start later this year after final approval is given by councillors.
It says the designs are part of its plans to revitalise the area, making it a hub for the creative industries sector.
Councillor Christopher Akers-Belcher, leader of Hartlepool Borough Council, said: “These plans are part of the wider regeneration proposals for Church Street and the creation of an Innovation and Skills Quarter project which encompasses the Church Square/Church Street area and includes the development of a new campus for Cleveland College of Art and Design and a new managed workspace facility for creative industries businesses within the former General Post Office building in Whitby Street.
“These are concept drawings that have been consulted on with local businesses.
“Final approval for the scheme will be required from councillors and we are hopeful that we will be in a position to start work on site later this year subject to the approval of funding.”
The plans, published on Hartlepool Borough Council’s website, state: “The central space to Church Square can become a dynamic, flexible space for events in the centre of Hartlepool.
“The plans show how different events can be accommodated.
“Further engagement with HBC culture officers will be required for the next stage of the design to determine a clearer programme for the space.”
The council is set to receive almost £5.5 million of funding to help to transform Church Street through the creation of the Innovation and Skills Quarter.
It aims to breathe new life into the area by supporting new creative businesses to set up, bring about greater daytime use of buildings and improve historic buildings.