Council approves Labour’s “Building for Growth” mission

Published Thursday, 16th May 2024

A major shake-up of Hartlepool Borough Council committees which aims to help bring more jobs, growth and prosperity to the town has been approved.

An Extraordinary Council meeting on Thursday evening (16th May) backed the changes, as the new Labour administration begins to implement its manifesto pledges ahead of officially taking office on Tuesday 21st May.

The changes – part of Labour’s “Building for Growth” mission to expand the local economy – create a new, enhanced Economic Growth and Regeneration Committee.

Chaired by Councillor Pamela Hargreaves, the committee has a range of new powers aimed at supporting business and industry.

Councillor Hargreaves said: “The key to Hartlepool’s future prosperity is to unlock the potential of our brilliant business community, entrepreneurs and innovators. They are the beating heart of our local economy and they can drive the growth we need to secure good, well-paid jobs for Hartlepool people.

“Our job is to back them by knocking down the barriers that too often get in the way of this progress, as well as maximising the opportunities from capital investment for the benefit of our businesses, residents and future generations of job seekers. Our focus will be on opening up our Council, ensuring that the voices of business and industry are heard.”

Councillor Matt Dodds and Councillor Pamela Hargreaves

Councillor Matt Dodds and Councillor Pamela Hargreaves

The committee’s powers include:

  • Strategic Procurement - essential to maximising support for Hartlepool-based companies and keeping more of Hartlepool’s money in the town.
  • Delivery and monitoring of Capital Programme schemes to ensure that every pound spent gets a return for Hartlepool in terms of jobs and growth.
  • Approval of any grant-aided schemes related to economic growth and regeneration to ensure support is targeted in a way that creates the most benefit for the town.
  • Responsibility for skills and learning to ensure the creation of a local workforce that can thrive in new jobs, sectors and industries.
  • Responsibility for culture and events to ensure inward investment from heritage and tourism opportunities is maximised.
  • Communications and marketing to focus squarely on promoting Hartlepool as the best location for investment.

Councillor Hargreaves added: “The changes passed by Council bring together all the levers the authority has at its disposal so that we can have a laser-like focus on ‘Building for Growth’. This was one of the key pledges from our manifesto and I’m really proud that we have delivered it, even before officially taking office. I want every entrepreneur, every potential investor, every person looking to set up or grow their company in our town to know that Hartlepool is now open for business!”

Councillor Matt Dodds, whose background is in industry, will serve as Vice-Chair of the committee. He said: “Our town needs an engaged regeneration programme which builds an environment that ensures Hartlepool people benefit more from their businesses and keeps money in our communities. I will use my nearly 20 years of experience in industry to complement Pamela’s vast business experience to make sure we deliver for businesses and our community.”