Creative industries centre wins top award

Published Thursday, 7th May 2020

A disused former Grade II listed Post Office building which has been transformed into a centre for creative industries has scooped a top regional award.

The BIS in Whitby Street, Hartlepool, won the Heritage Award at the RICS Social Impact Awards 2020, North East.

The judges praised the centre as a vibrant, popular space filled with creative businesses ranging from fashion design to animation. They added that it has continued to bolster the regeneration of the wider Church Street area and is a perfect landing space for new businesses set up by students graduating from The Northern School of Art.

Councillor Christopher Akers-Belcher, Chair of Hartlepool Borough Council’s Regeneration Services Committee, said: “I am absolutely delighted that The BIS, which I officially opened in May 2019, has been recognised by this Heritage award.

“I would especially like to thank all the staff in the Council’s Economic Development team and Group Ginger Architects that I was privileged to work alongside to bring this historic building back to life. The building now firmly represents Hartlepool’s proud heritage together with state of-the-art facilities that capture the town’s ambition to have a vibrant and successful creative future.”

As a category winner, The BIS will now go forward to the RICS Social Impact Awards 2020 grand finals to be held in London in September.

Councillor Shane Moore, Leader of Hartlepool Borough Council, said: “This award is great news and deserved recognition for everyone who has played a part in this multi-million pound project to transform a run-down, albeit listed, building into a state-of-the-art centre offering creative industries the highest quality facilities. Congratulations to all involved.”

The Council, the Tees Valley Mayor and Combined Authority and The Northern School of Art have all worked in partnership on the project as part of a wider on-going Council initiative to develop an Innovation and Skills Quarter around Church Street.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “It’s great to see that all of the hard work to turn the BIS from a disused building into a top-quality office space has been recognised by this award. I'm delighted our investment has helped in its transformation to support the creative industries sector in the town.”

Pat Chapman, Vice Principal of The Northern School of Art said: “The School is delighted to have worked with the Council in the development and now operation of this truly exciting facility.  Providing a destination for our graduates in which to establish their businesses is a significant part of what we offer and I know that it is a draw for new students.  The BIS offers a contemporary yet characterful setting for this, which is important to creative businesses.”

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

  • 28 units of various sizes – a mix of studios, workshops and office space.
  • 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.

Further information is available by telephoning 01429 363150 or by emailing