Construction of a new £2.7million Customer Service Centre and Library in Billingham Town Centre is expected to get under way by the end of the year after planning permission was granted for the scheme.
Stockton Council’s Planning Committee gave approval for the scheme yesterday (July 31), paving the way for the Council to start a formal tendering process to appoint a contractor for the construction of the building.
The centre is planned for the site of the town’s former Art Gallery and Council offices and as well as the public library, will house customer services for Stockton Council and Tristar Homes and Billingham Town Council’s headquarters.
An artist's impression of Billingham Customer Service Centre and Library
Stockton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Transport, Councillor Mike Smith, said: “The £25million transformation of Billingham Town Centre is gathering pace and it’s heartening to see the individual parts of the scheme coming together.
“Customer service centres have been hugely successful and popular elsewhere in the Borough and this one, with its public library, will attract more people into Billingham Town Centre, generating additional footfall for local businesses.
“This, combined with the public realm improvements we are carrying out in partnership with town centre owners Stockland, will serve to make the town centre a more attractive location for prospective investors and retailers.
“We want to give the people of Billingham the town centre they expect and deserve and the only way to do that is by leading the way in creating favourable conditions for private sector investment.”
The new centre is expected to open by the end of 2014 and will complement a further £2.3million of works on high quality paving, seating, feature lighting and a new canopy for the bandstand being carried out by the Council in partnership with Stockland.
Residents of the town are also benefiting from the wide range of services on offer at Billingham Health Centre in Queensway, which was officially opened following a refurbishment recently.
For further information about the transformation of Billingham Town Centre, visit www.stockton.gov.uk/billingham