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Opportunity to shape Billingham's future to take a step forward

17 May 2024
An artist's impression of how the redevelopment of Billingham town centre could look

An artist's impression of how the redevelopment of Billingham town centre could look

Councillors will consider proposals to purchase part of Billingham Town Centre as part of a continued commitment to invest in the town and bring about transformational change.

The plans, subject to Cabinet approval in June, would see the purchase of the West Precinct including the former library site and Queensway South buildings from owners Evolve Properties.

Both areas are partially vacant, underused and in poor condition. If approved, the Council will work alongside the centre owners to relocate businesses within these areas, enabling the site to be demolished and the centre redeveloped.

The plans are part of an emerging masterplan for Billingham Town Centre, which include concept designs for the creation of a new residential area in the town centre, new retail space and improvements to parking, public toilets, accessibility and public realm.

This also includes the refurbishment of the former Council office, Wynyard House, which will ensure the authority has a physical presence in the town centre and increases footfall.

The Council will work closely with Evolve Properties to engage with affected tenants and support them into other suitable town centre properties as part of the relocation process.

The purchase and demolition of Billingham Town Centre will be funded by £20million secured by the Council from the Government's Levelling Up Fund for the Stockton North Constituency.

The plans have been drawn up following the 'Let's Talk About Our Towns' public consultation in 2020, which sought views on a once in a generation opportunity to change the Borough's six town centres.

Councillor Nigel Cooke, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Housing at Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, said: "It's clear that parts of Billingham are in need of investment, and we've been working with the town centre owners to reach a positive conclusion to bring transformational change to the town.

"We've got a strong track record for delivering bold regeneration schemes across the Borough and I am delighted to be in a position where we can step in and take control to lead and shape Billingham's future.

"Under this ambitious plan, the oversupply of retail space will be brought in line with demand and is the continuation of the changes we've been making in recent years to make the town centre a place that people choose to visit to live, work and do business.

"Alongside Evolve, we will be speaking to businesses in the town centre, including those who will be impacted by these proposals, to work with them to find them a suitable town centre home."

The partial acquisition of Billingham Town Centre and the plans for its future use will be considered at a Council Cabinet meeting on Monday 17 June. If approved, the decant of tenants would get underway with a view to starting demolition in early 2025.

Meanwhile a proposal to develop a Sports Hub on the former Billingham Campus site is progressing.

The plans are being developed through the Football Foundations Hubs Programme which aims to create financially sustainable grassroots sports facilities. Among the emerging proposals for the site are artificial grass pitches, a 200m oval athletics track, a 1km, two lane track for amateur and experienced runners as well as cyclists, walkers, dog walkers and other users, as well as grass pitches.

A public consultation on the proposals is scheduled to begin shortly ahead of a planning application being submitted in the summer. A formal funding application will then be made to the Football Foundation later this year. If successful, construction on the Sports Hub will begin in Spring 2025.

Find out more about the plans to transform Billingham