Grand vision to improve retail and leisure in Hartlepool is unveiled

Darlington and Stockton Times: Councillor Christopher Akers-Belcher (left) and Councillor Robbie Payne, chairman of Hartlepool's regeneration committee, at Jacksons Landing Councillor Christopher Akers-Belcher (left) and Councillor Robbie Payne, chairman of Hartlepool's regeneration committee, at Jacksons Landing

A GRAND vision to regenerate a town at a cost of between £10m and £20m has been unveiled.

Hartlepool Borough Council has agreed an outline plan to develop swathes of the town, including sites around the marina, Trincomalee Wharf, Church Street and an entire disused retail centre at Jacksons Landing.

The overall vision, called the Hartlepool Regeneration Masterplan, has been agreed by the authority’s Regeneration Committee.

The idea is to increase the number of visitors to the town and the council will now seek specialist expertise to help make the idea a reality.

No details on potential council or private financial investment has yet been issued although the council say any developer or partner must look at an entire vision for the town, not just select areas.

Christopher Akers-Belcher, leader of Hartlepool council, said the area scored highly for the number of high earners living in the district. However many people left the district to shop or enjoy leisure activities elsewhere.

“Hartlepool has one of the highest average earnings in the region, but the money goes out, it’s like our economy leaks money. We want to find an income generator the town.”

Coun Akers-Belcher said all options were open on how the Masterplan could be developed and it was hoped a more detail plan of action would be in place in a year’s time.

Retail units at Jacksons Landing, at Hartlepool Marina, have been empty for a decade and have been bought by the council for £1.5m using a Government interest-free loan.

Other areas the authority wants to improve include Church Street, which leads from the town centre, and replacing the ageing Mill House Leisure Centre. The prospect of creating more water based activities and sports in Jackson Dock will also be looked at.

Stephen Catchpole is the managing director of Tees Valley Unlimited, the Local Enterprise Partnership for Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland and Stockton.

He said: “We are starting to see across Tees Valley a growing confidence and a steadily growing economy and welcome Hartlepool Council’s plans to position the borough as best placed to take advantage of that.

“We look forward to seeing the Masterplan next year and supporting the Council in its delivery.”

Comments (1)

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5:38pm Mon 9 Dec 13

calumannabel says...

Has Mr Catchpole been to Stockton or Billingham lately? Hartlepool is a dump - the shopping centre is as grim as anything East Germany pre war could come up with. It faces in on itself and on a Sunday barely looks open as you drive along Victoria Road. Any attempt to divert trade away from the present centre will hit the present centre and no right thinking business is going to invest in the new marina sites when some of the sharpest names in retailing are pulling out and internet shopping is biting in to the high street. In the end the Middleton Grange Shopping Centre will finish up like Lynn Street which was a vibrant shopping area. Still maybe the Mayor has a rake of charity shops up his sleeve to fill Jackson's Landing. I was born in Hartlepool (West) and find the place so depressing after generations of self seeking politicians have brought the place to its knees.
Has Mr Catchpole been to Stockton or Billingham lately? Hartlepool is a dump - the shopping centre is as grim as anything East Germany pre war could come up with. It faces in on itself and on a Sunday barely looks open as you drive along Victoria Road. Any attempt to divert trade away from the present centre will hit the present centre and no right thinking business is going to invest in the new marina sites when some of the sharpest names in retailing are pulling out and internet shopping is biting in to the high street. In the end the Middleton Grange Shopping Centre will finish up like Lynn Street which was a vibrant shopping area. Still maybe the Mayor has a rake of charity shops up his sleeve to fill Jackson's Landing. I was born in Hartlepool (West) and find the place so depressing after generations of self seeking politicians have brought the place to its knees. calumannabel

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