Church Street in Hartlepool has been completely re-opened to traffic after undergoing a multi-million pound refurbishment.
Work began in October last year to create a more open, pedestrian-friendly street, with improvements including new block paved footpaths and roads.
Diversions were put in place for through traffic during the revamp, but vehicle and pedestrian access to business and the town’s railway station was maintained.
The street re-opened to traffic completely on Saturday – several weeks ahead of schedule – but some work continues to put the finishing touches to the scheme.
Church Street’s new look has been welcomed by Councillor Kevin Cranney, Chair of Hartlepool Borough Council’s Regeneration Services Committee, who said: “I think it is looking great. It shows how the Council is delivering on its ambitious regeneration plans and I look forward to future phases of work, including the improvements in Church Square, having a similarly positive impact.”
The Church Square revamp includes the creation of a large oval event space encircled by trees and raised seating outside Hartlepool Art Gallery
The total cost of the Church Street and Church Square improvements is £3.4 million, with funding coming from the Tees Valley Combined Authority, National Lottery players through the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Hartlepool Borough Council. The main contractor is local firm Seymour Civil Engineering.
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 Tees Valley Combined Authority and the centre will be run by Hartlepool Borough Council with support from Cleveland College of Art and Design.