Prime Minister Rishi Sunak was given a tour of the impressive facilities at the Northern School of Art on Thursday (19 January) during a visit to Hartlepool.
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen showed Mr Sunak around the Northern Studios and the town centre after the Prime Minister landed at Teesside Airport in the afternoon.
The visit came after a boost of almost £18million for transport projects in the Tees Valley was confirmed via the Levelling Up Fund.
Hartlepool also received £16.5million for its exciting Production Village vision aiming to regenerate the Church Street area of the town.
The bold bid will build on the high-quality facilities already in place at the Northern Film and TV Studios and at The BIS, in Whitby Street – the award-winning centre for start-up businesses in the creative sector. It also includes plans to buy up and transform existing buildings and create an urban park/square in the area.
The successful bid complements the proposed Hartlepool Mayoral Development Corporation due to be established in the coming weeks.
It will also build on the circa £12million invested by the Mayor and Combined Authority in the Northern School of Art and Northern TV & Film Studios, plus the £6million to establish Church Street’s Innovation and Skills Quarter, including the BIS.
Mayor Houchen said: “It has been great to welcome the Prime Minister to Hartlepool to show him what we’ve been doing. We have ambitious plans to make Hartlepool a culture and filmmaking capital through the development of our MDC.
“The £54million Teesside, Darlington, and Hartlepool has received is another great boost to our wider ambitions.
“The cash injection for transport will play a vital role in giving people the access they desperately need to well-paid jobs and education. It’s also fantastic to see important projects in Guisborough and East Cleveland getting the support they richly deserve.
“It’s been another great day for Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool and this latest funding will help more of our homegrown talent to stay local and go far.”
Redcar will also receive £20million from the Levelling Up Fund – including £15million for improvements in Guisborough, improved access to Teesworks and the North York Moors National Park, as well as £4.8million to unlock housing at Newham Grange.