Property purchase boosts regeneration schemePublished Thursday, 26th July 2018
Hartlepool Council has stepped in to buy the derelict Shades Hotel in Church Street, giving the on-going regeneration of the area a massive boost.
The historic building which is grade II listed and currently on Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register, has been disused for a number of years.
The purchase - made with financial support from the Tees Valley Combined Authority (TVCA) - comes after the recent re-opening of Church Street to traffic following a multi-million pound revamp to create a more open, pedestrian-friendly street.
Councillor Kevin Cranney, Chair of the Council’s Regeneration Services Committee, said: “This gives us direct control of a very historic and significant building which we believe - given its prominent position - can become an “anchor” property in terms of Church Street’s regeneration.
“It shows how we are determined to safeguard the town’s heritage and be proactive in building upon the improvements that have already been achieved through the continuing Church Street/Church Square regeneration works.
"It is important that wherever possible we try to take action to improve the condition of properties and – where they are standing empty – to bring them back into use so that they don’t detract from the overall appearance of the area."
The Shades Hotel
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: "Church Street already looks fantastic after our multi-million pound boost, but we want to go further to make Hartlepool an even more attractive place to live, work and visit. Our latest financial commitment to secure this historic building shows how hard we're working to drive regeneration in the town while preserving its character."
The Shades opened in 1856 and closed in 1970, re-opening briefly as the New Shades.
The Council is currently exploring a range of options for its future use.
It is working with Historic England to restore the building and it intends to submit a bid for funding to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) next month (August).
As well as the new look given to Church Street, the Church Square revamp includes the creation of a large oval event space encircled by trees and raised seating outside Hartlepool Art Gallery.
Work is also continuing on The Bis, a new centre for business start-ups in the creative industries sector which is being created in the former Post Office building in Whitby Street. The conversion is being funded by the TVCA and the centre will be run by Hartlepool Borough Council with support from Cleveland College of Art and Design.