Celebrating our heritage as we look to the future

Published Tuesday, 4th December 2018

Special artwork echoing the history of the area is among the final touches being made to the multi-million pound regeneration of Hartlepool’s Church Street.

Nine engraved granite stones featuring adverts and posters from the 1850s through to the Second World War promoting Church Street businesses are being set into the pavement near where the firms were originally located.

Among the subjects are J Hawkridge clothier at 1 Church Street, a refreshment list for the Royal Hotel, a lecture at the Athenaeum plus an original architectural drawing for the Shades Hotel.

Councillor Rob Cook

Councillor Rob Cook with one of the pieces of granite artwork

A total of £2.1m has gone into the Hartlepool Borough Council project to regenerate Church Street. It has been funded by the Tees Valley Combined Authority and the main contractor was local firm Seymour Civil Engineering.

The focus has been on enhancing the existing architecture and creating a more open, pedestrian-friendly area, including a wider footpath along the south side of the street, new lighting, full repaving and new, smaller trees replacing the previous larger ones which obscured the buildings.

Councillor Rob Cook, Hartlepool Borough Council’s Heritage Champion, said: “Church Street has a rich history of industry and innovation and as the revitalised Church Street area grows into a hub for the creative industries, this eye-catching artwork will serve both as a lasting reminder of that proud heritage and an inspiration for the future.”    

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “How better to honour some of Hartlepool’s most iconic, historic businesses than by making them a permanent fixture of Church Street. These pieces will mark the entrepreneurs and trailblazers who made the town great, while sparking the imagination of our flourishing creative sector.”