Final Hartlepool Town Deal project to go to Government for approval

The fifth and final Hartlepool Town Deal project – the reimagining of Middleton Grange Shopping Centre – is to be sent to the Government for final approval.

Hartlepool Borough Council’s Finance and Policy Committee agreed to forward 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.

An artist's impression

Speaking outside Middleton Grange Shopping Centre, Councillor Shane Moore, Leader of the Council and Chair of the Finance and Policy Committee, said: “This is the biggest and most ambitious of the five Town Deal projects that we have been working on. It is going to have a really transformational effect on the town centre as a whole, but certainly on Middleton Grange.

“We want to make sure that this town centre, our town centre, is one that will be vibrant moving forward and one that isn’t just centred on retail. We need to diversify the offer that we have to bring people in and to encourage people to dwell more and to spend more time and more money. That is exactly what we hope those plans will do.

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 this point 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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