Hartlepool Development Corporation | Published on: 21st December 2023
Hartlepool Development Corporation has completed a deal to take control of Middleton Grange Shopping Centre.
The Development Corporation has successfully concluded negotiations to buy the long lease for the popular centre – which is home to major retailers including Primark and Boots.
The agreement will support ambitious regeneration proposals for Hartlepool town centre and give control over a key asset in the heart of the Development Corporation zone.
Approval to proceed with the deal was granted at a Development Corporation board meeting earlier this month.
Current plans include regenerated public spaces and new frontage while opening it up to a wider range of uses beyond retail.
The transfer will give the Development Corporation control of the centre, helping to improve the retail landscape of the town centre, and repurpose its heart.
This acquisition is vital to the overall masterplan for Hartlepool – focused on accelerating the town by maximising the potential of its maritime past, manufacturing present and creative future.
This includes attracting 2,000 new, good-quality jobs; building up to 1,300 new homes; restoring, reinvigorating and reshaping a sustainable and vibrant town centre; and to renew the waterfront to create a thriving maritime economy around its historic Marina.
The agreement will see Hartlepool Borough Council retain the freehold of the site, with the HDC Board appointing asset and property managers to oversee Middleton Grange on its behalf.
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen, Chair of the Board, said: “Middleton Grange is a hugely important part of our plans to transform Hartlepool town centre and the completion of this agreement is a vital step in this process.
“We can now get on with the job of transforming the centre to make it a thriving location for the brilliant local businesses already based there, while attracting new stores to the town.
“This deal also unlocks major redevelopment opportunities that can deliver a reinvigorated town centre that people want to spent time in – supporting jobs, boosting the economy and making our region an even better place to live.”
Cllr Mike Young, Leader of Hartlepool Borough Council and a member of the Hartlepool Development Corporation Board, said: ‘‘Hartlepool Borough Council acknowledges the leasehold purchase of Middleton Grange Shopping Centre by the Hartlepool Development Corporation and welcomes the news that it is now under public ownership.
As a Council, we are looking forward to working collaboratively with the HDC to progress the plans to transform the shopping centre alongside our own Hartlepool Town Deal and Production Village regeneration projects. With work starting on Highlight, the Wesley Chapel and Hartlepool Train Station this year and hopefully soon now on the shopping centre, we are laying the foundations for a brighter future for Hartlepool.’’
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