Final Hartlepool Town Deal project to go before councillors

Councillors will next week be asked to send the fifth and final Hartlepool Town Deal project – the reimagining of Middleton Grange Shopping Centre – to the Government for approval.

Hartlepool Borough Council’s Finance and Policy Committee will be asked to send the business case for the scheme to the Department for Levelling Up, Communities and Housing (DLUCH).

DLUCH sign-off is required for funding to be released.

The plans which aim to unlock the potential and growth of the town centre, include the restoration of the Grade II Listed former Binns building to create a range of flexible spaces. It is also proposed to further remodel the north-east wing of the shopping centre to provide space for new public amenities.

A new “gateway” entrance to the shopping centre from Stockton Road will be created, and there will be improved access from all parts of the town centre and wider town.

Councillor Shane Moore, Leader of the Council and Chair of the Finance and Policy Committee, said: “These are very exciting times for Hartlepool. The former Binns building is a much-loved landmark which holds fond memories for many people, and its location opposite the former Wesley Chapel – itself the subject of a separate Hartlepool Town Deal restoration scheme – means that we have an opportunity to really transform the town centre.

“The remodelling proposed will also enable us to create the space for an eye-catching public square which will to open up and improve this area.”

An artist's impression

Tim Sankey of AEW, MARS Investment Manager and leaseholder of Middleton Grange, said: “We are pleased to be working closely with the Council as we share a vision for the revitalisation of the shopping centre. These proposals represent the first stage in bringing the vision to life but further plans are being discussed’’

Alby Pattison, Chair of the Hartlepool Town Deal Board which brings together representatives of the local public, private and voluntary sectors, added: “So much work has been required by so many people – often in very difficult circumstances during the pandemic – to develop the Hartlepool Town Deal projects, so to get to the point where councillors are being asked to submit the final scheme to the Government for approval is a huge milestone.”

Hartlepool was one of 100 towns across England invited by the Government to develop innovative regeneration plans and potentially secure up to £25 million. The Council was informed last summer that it had been awarded the full amount.

Business cases for four other Hartlepool Town Deal projects – a Health and Care Academy, a Civil Engineering Academy, Waterfront Connectivity improvements and the restoration of the town’s the Wesley Chapel – have already been submitted to DLUCH and final approval is currently awaited.

More information about the Hartlepool Town Deal is available at www.hartlepool.gov.uk/HartlepoolTownDeal

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