Work progressing on turning Hartlepool '˜white elephant' into creative arts hub

A building that was mothballed after complications is getting a new lease of life.

Tuesday, 23rd January 2018, 5:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 23rd January 2018, 9:35 am
The former Northern Lights Academy, renamed the Centre for Excellence in Creative Arts

The former £4.5million Northern Lights Academy in King Oswy Drive, Hartlepool, stood empty for more than a year before being acquired by Hartlepool Borough Council last year.

It has been renamed the Centre for Excellence in Creative Arts (CECA) and plans to turn it into a vibrant hub for young people are starting to happen.

The council has been awarded significant funding from the Tees Valley Combined Authority to help develop the centre over the next three years.

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Cleveland College of Art and Design (CCAD) has been running a successful Saturday Club from the CECA since October.

Resources that were part of the nearby Space 2 Learn educational facility are being moved into the CECA building.

And the council is working with schools to be able to deliver sessions as part of their curriculum.

New branding is due to be put on the outside of the building soon, and an event is planned to showcase the building to the community.

An update on the progress went before the last meeting of the council’s Children’s Services Committee.

Chair of the committee Councillor Alan Clark said: “Everyone is very positive because of what happened.

“There has been concern from residents that the building was put into a mothballed state, so I think it’s a very positive development - not only for children and the local people, but also for the wider community.

“Funding has been approved by the combined authority where we are able to appoint a business manager.

“From what was a white elephant we are really determined to make a success of it.”

Funding bids have also has been made to Youth Music for music projects for 14-16 year-olds, and also to help run a creative arts programme supporting young people’s emotional development.

Artwork produced by young people looking at mental health issues is to go on permanent display in the building.