Ambitious regeneration plan at heart of Levelling Up Fund bid

A bid for £16.5 million of Government funding aims to kick-start ambitious plans for the further regeneration of Hartlepool Town Centre.

Hartlepool Borough Council hopes to secure the money in Round 2 of the Levelling Up Fund.

At the heart of its bid is the proposed creation of a Production Village in the Church Street area which is intended to be a catalyst for Hartlepool’s fledgling screen industries sector.

This will build on the high-quality facilities already in place at the state-of-the-art Northern Film and TV Studios in Lynn Street, on the site of the Northern School of Art, and at The BIS in Whitby Street, the Council’s award-winning centre for start-up businesses in the creative sector.

The Council aims to transform the urban environment through the purchase, redevelopment and selective demolition of existing premises to create a range of new, flexible spaces that will provide post-production, back office and wider support services to the screen industries. These will be complemented by the creation of an urban park/square to transform the look and feel of the area and attract new investment.

Councillor Shane Moore. Leader of Hartlepool Borough Council, said: “The bid, if successful, has the potential to completely transform this part of the town centre, bringing huge benefits to Hartlepool and its residents as a whole

“It will enable us to develop a thriving screen industries sector, attract inward investment and create a range of new job opportunities for local people.

“These plans also need to be seen in the context of our success in securing the £25m Hartlepool Town Deal which is allowing us to proceed with a number of other key regeneration projects, including the re-development of the former Wesley Chapel, the re-imagining of Middleton Grange Shopping Centre, connectivity improvements between The Waterfront and the town centre and the creation of civil engineering and health and care skills academies.

“All in all, this is a hugely exciting time for Hartlepool and its residents.”

The Levelling Up Fund is at the heart of the Government’s commitment to tackle economic inequality between the UK’s regions. An announcement on whether the Council’s bid has been successful is not expected until later in the year, and any funding received will have to be spent by March 2025.

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