Tees Valley Mayor | Published on: 30th November 2022
Plans to reinvigorate the centre of Hartlepool by establishing a Mayoral Development Corporation have won unanimous support from the town’s council following an Extraordinary Council Meeting.
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen and Hartlepool Borough Council Leader Shane Moore revealed the proposals in April this year to reshape the town, make it a more attractive place to live and visit, support small businesses and deliver a master plan to maximise future funding.
Since the announcement, a consultation has seen the public come out in favour of the scheme, with the Mayor committing £20million to kick-start the Hartlepool project alongside one in Middlesbrough. The Mayor has also officially written to the Secretary of State to designate the zone and also establish the board tasked with overseeing the transformation.
Now, following a debate which considered topics such as the decision-making processes surrounding the Mayoral Development Corporation, the Board make-up, the role of planning and future potential for expansion, Hartlepool Borough Council has thrown its weight behind the scheme. Cllr Moore also officially confirmed his consent to the designation during the meeting.
Hartlepool’s Mayoral Development would cover Oakesway Business Park, retail and leisure land – including Mill House Leisure Centre and Middleton Grange Shopping Centre, along with public realm and civic buildings.
Mayor Houchen said: “It’s great that Hartlepool Borough Council has now officially nailed its colours to the mast and come out in favour of our ambitious plans. I didn’t doubt for a second that, when they understood the huge benefits the scheme could bring, they would agree that this was the best way forward.
“From boosting our brilliant businesses to making our streets cleaner and safer, from capitalising on our existing assets to ensuring future funding is maximised and used in the best way possible, this scheme will be a game-changer for the town.
“The time for talk is over – it’s now about action. We need to work together to maximise the opportunities for the town and deliver the real change and improvements that our local people deserve.”
Cllr Moore said: “The new Mayoral Development Corporation has the potential to build on the fantastic regeneration work that is already underway and unleash Hartlepool’s full potential by attracting much needed jobs and investment.
“We absolutely want this to be a success because we want Hartlepool as a Borough to succeed. That is why it’s important to grasp this opportunity with both hands and I am pleased full council unanimously agreed the recommendations.”
Recommendations for the new MDC to be backed were agreed with no dissent at the council meeting.
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