Working Well - Community



Good quality work has a major positive impact on an individual’s long-term health and wellbeing as well as that of their family members. It can influence social mobility, economic independence, housing, and income levels.

Unemployment, however, can be both a cause of and a result of ill health.  The negative effects of unemployment on health and wellbeing can be linked to poverty and low income levels.  Long-term unemployment; limiting illnesses; low paid, short-term and temporary employment; and low level skills can affect an individual’s ability to gain and sustain employment.  The current economic climate presents particular obstacles to gaining employment for specific age groups (for example, 18-24 year olds and people aged over 50 years) and also for people who have recently been made redundant and may need to re-train to secure available employment opportunities.

Not all work is equal as poor quality work can also influence poor health outcomes.  If work is to be beneficial to health, it requires adequate pay, good working hours, appropriate health and safety, job security, progression and the ability for workers to participate in decision making.  Poor quality jobs can exacerbate health inequalities as they often occur at the lower end of the social gradient. 

For the UK, the combined costs from worklessness and sickness absence amount to around £100 billion annually.


Hartlepool major group of employment by occupation


Hartlepool’s largest employment sector is professional occupations, with 14.1% of employment in this sector. This is followed by those in elementary occupations, elementary occupations are those which consist mainly of simple and routine tasks which mainly require the use of hand-held tools and often some physical effort, which account for 12.1% of the workforce. The lowest rate of employment is in the mangers, directors and senior officials sector, which accounts for 9.4% of Hartlepool’s workforce.

Hartlepool has an employment rate, for those aged 16-64, of 63.4%. This is the lowest rate for both the north east region and Hartlepool’s statistical neighbours. Hartlepool’s employment rate is the 4th lowest in the country. While Hartlepool’s rate took a slight dip of 0.5% in the latest figures, the general trend over the previous 4 reporting periods was of improvement.


In 2011/12 the gap between Hartlepool and England was 11.8%, and for the north east region it was 6.7%. By 2015/16 these had fallen to 10% and 5.6% respectively. The 2016/17 data has seen the gap increase slightly to 11% for England and 6.4% for the north east, though these are both still below the 2011/12 figures.


Hartlepool’s unemployment rate of 9.0% is the highest in England. However since 2013, the gap between Hartlepool and both England and the north east has fallen by 25.8% and 11.9% respectively. In 2013 the gap between Hartlepool and England was 6.7%, this has now fallen to 4.9%, and the gap between Hartlepool and the north east region was 4.2% and this has now fallen to 3.7%. Hartlepool’s unemployment rate had seen a year on year decline from 14.1% in 2013 to 9.0% in 2016, however in 2017 the rate increase back up to 10.1%, the highest level for three years. However in 2018 Hartlepool’s rate had again fallen to 9.0%, the same rate as in 2016.


Hartlepool has seen a sharp decline in the number of people claiming Employment & Support Allowance (ESA), which is state benefit designed to provide financial support to those who are unable, or find it difficult, to work.


Hartlepool’s rate peaked in 2015, 10.1%, but by 2018 this had reduced by 26.7% to 7.4%. This means that in 2015 just over 1 in 10 of the working age population in Hartlepool were receiving ESA, this figure was just over 1 in 14 by 2018. Hartlepool’s rate is still substantially higher than the England average of 5.4%, but is now on a par with the regional average of 7.4%.

Similar to ESA, Hartlepool has seen a large decrease in long term claimants of jobseeker’s allowance. Since a peak of 31.3 per 1,000 of the population in 2013, the 2018 levels of long term claimant for jobseeker’s allowance in Hartlepool had fallen by 70% to 9.4 per 1,000. In the same the gap between Hartlepool and both England and the north east has fallen. In 2013 the gap between Hartlepool and England was 20.1 per 1,000, by 2018 this was 5.6 per 1,000, just over 3.5 times smaller. The gap between Hartlepool and the north east in 2013 was 12.6 per 1,000, by 2018 this had fallen to 1.9 per 1,000, just over 6.5 times smaller.


Current services

Hartlepool’s key economic assets


Innovation and entrepreneurship

The Northern School of Art: One of the top-performing UK institutions for graduate employability. Opened a new £11m Hartlepool Campus in 2017 in the town’s Innovation and Skills Quarter


Hartlepool College of Further Education: A leading regional college for technical and professional education; and an ‘outstanding’ provider of workbased apprenticeships. Opened its £52m building in Hartlepool Town Centre in



Hartlepool Sixth Form College: The only dedicated Sixth Form College in Hartlepool providing fulltime education for 16‐19 year olds across professional, technical and academic pathways.

Hartlepool Innovation Centre, Queens Meadow Business Park: The Innovation Centre targets start-up businesses, focusing on advanced manufacturing and engineering, with opportunities for growing businesses across a range of sectors.


Enterprise Court, Queens Meadow Business Park: £3m managed grow-on workspace adjacent to the Innovation Centre, developed by HCA in 2015. Offers 21 hybrid office-industrial units with occupiers including companies originally accommodated in the Innovation Centre.


Hartlepool Enterprise Centre: 50 office and workshop units available on flexible terms with direct access to comprehensive business support services.


The BIS: Due to open in March 2019, a £3.5m managed workspace for start-ups and new growth creative businesses. To be managed by Hartlepool Council with strategic support from the Northern School of Art.


Specialist infrastructure

Quality business locations

Hartlepool Nuclear Power Station: One of 8 currently active nuclear power reactors in the UK. Operation will continue throughout the period of this strategy; the Council is already planning for proposed decommissioning and a potential new small modular reactor plant.


Hartlepool Port: Fully operational deep-water sea port handling 500,000 tonnes a year. The Port has 5 general cargo berths, a roll-on roll-off berth and specialist heavy lifting docks. Half a million square feet of warehousing is also connected to rail freight networks.


ABLE Seaton Port: 51 hectare site of operational deep-water port in the mouth of the Tees. Able has invested over £120m since acquisition in

1996; providing reinforced quayside facilities and establishing oil and gas decommissioning operations and as an installation for offshore wind.

The Borough has numerous high-quality business locations, with the following identified in the Local Plan as strategic growth locations alongside the ports and power station:


Queen’s Meadow: Developed over the last 15 years as one of the key business locations in the Tees Valley – providing a range of business accommodation of different sizes and types in the same location. Almost 45 hectares of developable land is available.


Wynyard Business Park: Identified and developed as a prestige business park and a key location for the Tees Valley economy – located in both Hartlepool and Stockton Boroughs. A further 33 hectares of land available at site which has already attracted successful investment

Future intentions



A vision statement

Objectives and priorities

Economic trajectory measure

Creative Hartlepool seeks to build on the growing profile and reputation of the town as a distinctive and dynamic economic centre and to support creative people and enterprise to choose to locate and grow in the local economy.

This requires a clear focus on the economic assets of the town that can influence both the external image as a creative and cultural destination, as well as attracting younger people to build their skills and lives in Hartlepool.

This will help to retain the value of creative and enterprising people and ideas in Hartlepool.

Some ‘big moves’ have already been achieved over recent years in delivering Creative Hartlepool, focused on the colleges and Innovation and Skills Quarter. The strategy seeks to accelerate and promote the town’s growing reputation as an exciting and creative centre of learning, enterprise and culture, prioritising investment in infrastructure and a supportive environment in which creative people and businesses can flourish. Creative Hartlepool also seeks to promote new and innovative ways of supporting and delivering economic growth, including through new funding mechanisms, as well promoting inclusive growth that meets the needs of the whole of the Borough’s population.

The objectives of Creative Hartlepool over the next three

years are to:


Creative 1.

Build on Hartlepool’s reputation as a creative town which supports innovative people, ideas and enterprise


Creative 2.

Develop the assets and skilled workforce to sustain a creative and inclusive local economy.

These objectives will be supported by priority programmes and actions by the Council in the next three years with a particular focus on consolidating the economic role of the Innovation and Skills Quarter.


Current investment in the ISQ will see the BIS provide managed workspace for creative start-ups and new growth creative businesses. The next phase of ISQ will enhance the position of the Northern School of Art as a leading creative institution. A partnership between the Council, Northern School of Art and Tees Valley Combined Authority will take forward the development of new film and TV studios for commercial use and work experience, alongside provision of a new creative space for education and stage production. The technology-enabled workspace will provide access for creative SMEs to specialist equipment.

Further investment in the ISQ will see the refurbishment of

a Grade II listed building to enhance the built heritage of the Quarter – a commercial outlet providing employment and training opportunities and improved visitor attraction.

The Council will continue to promote the vision for

Creative Hartlepool through its place making, and will use its enabling role to coordinate plans for creative enterprise, skills and graduate retention in the Borough, including securing a £650,000 TVCA investment contribution for the Centre for Excellence in Creative Arts.

Innovation in the Hartlepool economy goes beyond the creative sector, but the core measure of the success of the Council’s interventions in the next three years will be in generating more higher-value employment in creative and cultural activities. The aim over the period to 2021 is for jobs growth in cultural and creative activities to be in line with or better than the wider Tees Valley.



A vision statement

Objectives and priorities

Economic trajectory measure

Productive Hartlepool seeks to consolidate and strengthen

the core foundations of Hartlepool’s new economy in

the areas where it has most potential to add value to the

Tees Valley’s priorities: process, engineering, advanced manufacturing and the circular economy and emerging ‘clean growth’ concept. This should take place against a basic backdrop of more higher-value services activity, business-to-business provision and grown-on supply chains. Efforts to improve skills, provide targeted business support and provide a pathway of high-quality business growth accommodation will enhance the productivity of local business and the workforce: narrowing the productivity gap between the Tees Valley and the wider economy.

This requires a prioritised approach to local skills strategies, with Centres of Excellence and academies for target sectors, notably energy, including both generation and

Decommissioning opportunities, advanced manufacturing, creative and hospitality. Productive Hartlepool also sees a consolidated and enhanced role for the Borough’s high-quality productive assets including the ports, the power station, key business locations and the town centre.

The drive to reinforce and replenish the local skills base also requires an appropriate housing offer, including live-work units, to support retention and attraction of skilled people in the Borough alongside an inclusive approach that seeks to reduce barriers to employment particularly for younger people.

The objectives of Productive Hartlepool over the next three

years are to:


Productive 1.

Enhance the productivity of local businesses and the local



Productive 2.

Improve the productivity and local economic contribution of key local assets. Productive Hartlepool will be delivered over the next three years across a range of Council priority programmes. The first step in enhanced productivity has been to engage with businesses across the Borough to understand their support, investment and skills needs, and to promote business support available at Hartlepool and Tees Valley level. It will

also co-ordinate a Borough-wide approach to the delivery

of basic and higher-level skills for a productive workforce; and support new Skills Academies at Hartlepool College of Further Education in advanced manufacturing, energy lifecycle, construction and health & social care. The Council will also continue to promote the consolidation, enhancement and expansion of the Borough’s productive economic assets. This includes a programme to enable investment in high-quality business workspace, and direct engagement with the operators of Hartlepool’s ports and nuclear power station. The Local Plan provides

the framework for quality housing growth in the west of

Hartlepool, and the Council will enable and encourage investment in new site and highways infrastructure to kick-start housing growth. Direct Council investment will be targeted in continuing to enhance the value of the town’s central area in its productive economy.

Progress towards a more productive higher-value Hartlepool will ultimately be reflected in the level of economic output from each role in the economy.

The aim over the period to 2021 is to achieve Gross Value

Added per job in line with or better than the wider

Tees Valley.



A vision statement

Objectives and priorities

Economic trajectory measure

Connected Hartlepool aims to widen the Borough’s economic footprint with a positive outward-facing approach to economic networks. It recognises that physical connectivity and economic collaboration are equally important in supporting productive economic growth. Through improvement to

the movement of people and goods, and the sharing of

information and economic priorities, Connected Hartlepool acts as an enabler of the Creative and Productive

Hartlepool masts.

Priorities for external physical connectivity seek to broaden

Hartlepool’s catchment for workers and visitors, improving the integration of the local economy with the Tees Valley and wider North East. Cross-Tees connectivity is a key focus given the emerging growth focus at South Tees. It also recognises the importance of continued strategic connectivity to London by rail in promoting Hartlepool’s national profile and appeal and improved local connections to Tees Valley economic centres.

Connected Hartlepool promotes ongoing investment in port facilities recognising the value of ports as ‘vital enablers of the UK economy and trade’ and the importance of the Borough’s ports to specialist growth sectors such as offshore energy and decommissioning and access to world markets.

Hartlepool’s economic networks will be enhanced through the continued development of a network of high-quality leisure & cultural destinations and visitor accommodation. Connections

between town centre assets, including the shopping centre,

Colleges, ISQ and Waterfront are prioritised. This builds on the public realm improvements already programmed and seeks to promote greater integration between key assets with improved pedestrian access.

Connected Hartlepool also recognises the importance of encouraging local supply chains to support priority sectors.

Support for supply chain development complements

‘Productive Hartlepool’ by maximising local purchasing opportunities.

The objectives of Connected Hartlepool over the next three

years are to:


Connected 1.

Improve external connectivity to strategic economic



Connected 2.

Enhance and connect a network of assets to increase

Hartlepool’s draw as a destination


Connected 3.

Develop and strengthen local supply chains for key sectors

Connected Hartlepool will be realised over the next three years through a series of Council programmes and interventions in physical infrastructure, visitor and leisure attractors and business networks. Investment will take place to establish Hartlepool Waterfront as the prime destination in the town – to include an initial programme of investment in high-quality public realm; the design and development of a new visitor attraction; a new events space; a watersports activity centre; and investment in the development of a new hotel.

Continued investment will see improved pedestrian connectivity between the multiple assets of Hartlepool’s town centre, ISQ, Waterfront and the National Museum of the Royal Navy. Plans for improved physical connectivity will see construction start on the Western Growth Corridor, and efforts to promote the concept of an Eastern Crossing of the River Tees. Efforts to develop enhanced economic networks will have a primary focus in supply chain development initiatives for the offshore energy and decommissioning industries.

Connected Hartlepool encompasses a broad range of ambitions which help to widen the Borough’s economic footprint. This is best represented in the ability of the

Borough’s assets to attract people and capacity of its infrastructure to connect the town to a wider catchment.

The aim over the period is to achieve continued growth

in overall visitor numbers to Hartlepool, increasing the

Borough’s penetration rate into the regional visitor market.