Celebrations as new creative industries centre opens its doors

Published Wednesday, 8th May 2019

An exciting chapter in the regeneration of Hartlepool has begun with the official opening of Hartlepool’s new £3m centre for the creative industries.

‘The BIS’ – a centre for ‘creating Businesses through Innovation and Skills’ - has been created by Hartlepool Borough Council bringing a derelict building back into use through the refurbishment and enlargement of the Grade 2-listed former Post Office building in Whitby Street.

Hartlepool Borough Council, the Tees Valley Combined Authority and the Northern School of Art have worked in partnership on the project as part of a wider ongoing Council initiative to develop the Innovation and Skills Quarter around Church Street.

BIS official opening

Open to both new and existing businesses in the creative sector, The BIS features a comprehensive range of facilities including:

* 28 units of various sizes – a mix of studios, workshops and office space – of which half are already allocated

* Two fully-equipped meeting/conference rooms, which are also available for hire

* Superfast broadband and comprehensive WiFi coverage

* Monitored security through a CCTV and alarm system

A range of flexible easy in, easy out terms are available and The BIS will also offer specialist support to help its tenants succeed.

The Council and the Northern School of Art will be running a full programme of creative-themed events and seminars at The BIS throughout the year, for businesses across the town.

The BIS was officially opened by Councillor Christopher Akers-Belcher, Leader of Hartlepool Borough Council, who unveiled a commemorative plaque.

Councillor Akers-Belcher said: “This is an exciting day for Hartlepool. This impressive new building will provide the perfect environment in which our new and existing businesses in the creative industries can grow and flourish, creating more local jobs.

“It will also help to keep the fantastic young talent coming out of Hartlepool’s colleges in the town when they graduate.

“The BIS is a cornerstone in our ongoing development of the Church Street area into a thriving Innovation and Skills Quarter and marks another important step in our ongoing transformation of Hartlepool.”

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “The new Innovation and Skills Quarter in Hartlepool will be central to the town’s very well-respected creative industry.

“I’m delighted that our investment has been able to take the top-quality office space and facilities from an idea to a reality. Its doors are now open to welcome our innovators and entrepreneurs who will create the jobs of tomorrow and nurture the next generation of home-grown talent.”

Anyone interested in leasing one of the units should contact the Council’s Economic Regeneration Team on (01429) 867677 or email bis@hartlepool.gov.uk