BIS official opening
Hartlepool Borough Council's chief executive, Gill Alexander; Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen; and Hartlepool Borough Council leader councillor Christopher Akers-Belcher, following the plaque unveiling.
Rebecca Wayman

A new £3m arts and creative industries centre opens in Hartlepool

A new chapter in the regeneration of Hartlepool has begun with the official opening of Hartlepool’s new £3m centre for the creative industries.

‘The BIS’ - a centre for ‘creating businesses through innovation and skills’ - has been created by Hartlepool Borough Council bringing a derelict building back into use through the refurbishment and enlargement of the town’s Grade II-listed former Post Office.

Hartlepool Borough Council, Tees Valley Combined Authority and the Northern School of Art, have worked in partnership on the project as part of a wider ongoing council initiative to develop the Innovation and Skills Quarter around Church Street.

Councillor Akers-Belcher said: “This is an exciting day for Hartlepool. This impressive new building will provide the perfect environment in which our new and existing businesses in the creative industries can grow and flourish, creating more local jobs.

“It will also help to keep the fantastic young talent coming out of Hartlepool’s colleges in the town when they graduate.

“The BIS is a cornerstone in our ongoing development of the Church Street area into a thriving Innovation and Skills Quarter and marks another important step in our ongoing transformation of Hartlepool.”

External view of The BIS.

Open to both new and existing businesses in the creative sector, The BIS features facilities including: monitored security through a CCTV and alarm system, as well as a mix of studios, workshops and office space.

The Council and the Northern School of Art will be running a full programme of creative-themed events and seminars at The BIS throughout the year, for businesses across the town.

The BIS was officially opened by councillor Christopher Akers-Belcher - leader of Hartlepool Borough Council - who unveiled a commemorative plaque.

Tees Valley Mayor, Ben Houchen, concluded: “The new Innovation and Skills Quarter in Hartlepool will be central to the town’s very well-respected creative industry.

“I’m delighted that our investment has been able to take the top-quality office space and facilities from an idea to a reality.

“Its doors are now open to welcome our innovators and entrepreneurs who will create the jobs of tomorrow and nurture the next generation of home-grown talent.”

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