FOUNDATIONS: Work starts on new Middlehaven homes
Foundations for new homes at Middlehaven are being laid as part of urban living aims.
Renovation work at the Captain Cook pub, on Durham Street, is now taking shape alongside efforts to prepare land for properties nearby.
Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston has pledged to bring 4,000 residents to the centre of town in the next decade.
And another new master plan for Middlehaven is set to be unveiled in the next two months after Middlesbrough Council formed a partnership with construction giant BCEGI earlier this year.
Diggers were on site on Monday near the “urban pioneers” properties, on Pioneering Way.
Last week, Mr Preston said the town was entering its “biggest ever construction boom”.
He added: “All of this building is on existing land – so we are helping to protect green spaces and making sure that people don’t have to travel far for work or leisure.
“Stuff is actually happening and we can look to the future with confidence and optimism.”
Emergency £538,000 works at the Grade-II listed pub were signed off this year alongside an agreement to use a £7.9m government grant for sorting out brownfield land for 634 homes.
Leaders approved the use of £2m “gap funding” to “kick start” the housing market north of the A66 last month as part of efforts to bring 90 new homes to land between Gosford Street and Feversham Street.
And a fresh report is set to be rubber stamped on Tuesday to earmark how the £21.9m Towns Fund allocation will be spent.
A sum just shy of £13.9m from the fund will be used to bring 1,500 homes to seven sites in a bid to create a “new urban community in the heart of the town centre”
The report adds: “Housing will be both new build and conversion of existing properties to broaden the existing offer and bring vibrancy to the town centre.”
Cash from a £4.5m chunk of the Towns Fund will be used for the renovation and restoration of historic buildings as part of “Digital City” campus ambitions – alongside efforts to create another 1,000 residential units.
St Hilda’s, and land “over the border” north of the A66, have seen a raft of regeneration visions since the 1980s – with mixed results.
Richard Horniman, director of regeneration at Middlesbrough Council, told the latest economic infrastructure scrutiny panel how the authority now had full control of a wide stretch of Middlehaven – with efforts ongoing to plan its regeneration in a “coherent way”.
He added: “We need to do probably a bit more than we’re comfortable with in terms of putting stuff on the market over the next few years because the funding is there to do it now.
“But these masterplans need to tell a clear story to people who want to invest in Middlehaven in terms of what’s happening to the rest of it, when it’s happening and what it’s going to look like.”
Cllr Ron Arundale said he felt for the “urban pioneers” in North Star homes on the stretch – adding they’d been “stuck on their own for years”.
“The park in front of them, apart from a bit of grass, has been neglected – we need to help those people,” he added.
But Mr Horniman confirmed the first developments were going in around those homes.
“That will help but it’s been a long time in coming,” he added.
Executive members will look over plans for the Towns Fund and the £14.1m Future High Streets Fund on Tuesday afternoon.
Words: Alex Metcalfe, Local Democracy Reporter
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