The work to transform Stockton’s High Street and Town Centre moves on to its next stage as contractors begin work at the northern end of the High Street.
The £38million regeneration programme has seen the complete refurbishment of Stockton’s High Street, with new paving, road improvements, street furniture, bus shelters and street lighting.
The programme is also bringing to life the medieval and Georgian architecture still in existence along the High Street, making plans for the refurbishment of the Globe Theatre, as well as opening up the area to the super riverside and watersports facility on the banks of the river Tees.
As a final piece in the jigsaw to secure the future prosperity of the High Street and Town Centre, the regeneration programme will create new outdoor entertainment spaces, sculpture as well as a permanent home for specialist and regular markets.
Work will commence on the northern end of the High Street from Lindsay House to The Globe from the beginning of September and will replace paving, upgrade the pedestrian crossings, replace street lighting columns and resurface the roads.
The work will also create a new taxi rank, car park and a dedicated events and specialist market place. The site of the new Stockton ‘Automaton’ will also be allocated for the installation of the exciting ‘moving sculpture’ which is due to be put in place during the works.
Stockton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Transport, Councillor Mike Smith, said: “This is a really exciting stage in the journey of the High Street £38million regeneration – and we are really seeing a difference in the look and feel of the Town Centre.
“The new spaces for markets and events will help to create a fantastic new atmosphere to the Town Centre – building on its reputation as a place for events and performance.
“The improvements will also make it easier for people to access the town centre whilst the new paving, landscaping and street furniture will create an inviting town centre for visitors and residents.
“By improving and creating different spaces and experiences in the High Street, we are in a much stronger position to maintain and increase visitors and shoppers – helping to secure the Town Centre for the future of all.”
An application to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) Heritage Enterprise grant funding was submitted early June 2013. The application was for just under £4million of grant which is the shortfall amount for the project put forward in the proposed £8million refurbishment. The decision on the outcome of the application is expected late September 2013.
Meanwhile, the physical works at the southern end of the High street nears completion as some market stalls have moved to their permanent location between the Town Hall and Dodshon’s Fountain on the west side and on the east side between Spencer Market Hall and Finkle Street.
It is expected the remainder of stalls will move to their permanent position next to the Town Hall in the coming weeks. In the meantime they will remain within the market at various locations at the southern end of the high street.
Next month the demolition of Lindsay House will begin. The removal of the building will mean that people visiting the High Street can access leisure activities and events on the Riverside much more easily. Next year, the vacant Lindsay House space will create an off-street short-stay car park which will also be used as a dedicated space for specialist markets/events at various times throughout the year.