So how far have we come?

MIDDLEHAVEN, Middlesbrough

MIDDLEHAVEN, Middlesbrough

THIS dockside development is one of Teesside’s longest running regeneration projects. It’s almost 30 years since efforts began to breathe new life into the site in July 1980, following the closure of Middlesbrough Dock.

Prior to TVR’s involvement, a series of failed attempts were made to create everything from a Tall Ships Centre to Teesside’s very own “Little Venice”.

The Middlehaven label was first attached to the redundant dockside site in 1986 - six years after planning chiefs decided the area was ripe for revival.

TVR announced plans to develop the 250-acre site with £500m of public and private sector investment.

A blueprint was unveiled in 2004 with designs by Alsop Architects. Up to 3,000 new jobs, more than 2,400 homes, 800,000sq ft of commercial office development, hotels, bars and restaurants are all part of the plan.

Last year BioRegional Quintain was named as the developer of the latest £200m plans for the waterside site.

Developer Terrace Hill has completed work on Manhattan Gate, the first offices at Middlehaven and work has been completed to replace the roundabout at the A66 and Borough Road junction with a flyover and slip road into the site.

Work is well under way on construction of the new £68m Middlesbrough College.

A marketing suite and show apartment are being installed.

And the future?

“This time next year I’d expect a lot more building work to be under way,” said TVR chief Joe Docherty. “And people should be able to buy an apartment at the site. We’re also hoping to make a very positive announcement about the hotel.”

NORTH SHORE, Stockton

THIS £300m regeneration scheme, pictured, for Stockton’s riverbank was announced in January 2005.

It aims to transform a 56-acre site with more than 650,000sq ft of prime office accommodation, leisure facilities including a 100-bedroom hotel, cafes and restaurants, new facilities for the University of Durham, 480 homes and an iconic pedestrian and cycle bridge - creating more than 2,500 jobs.

By the end of that year Urban Splash, which helped transform Liverpool into the European Capital of Culture, was announced as working in partnership with leading urban regeneration specialist AMEC Developments - which revamped the Newcastle Quayside and Walkergate in Durham - to develop the scheme.

Work has been completed on improving access both to North Shore and Stockton town centre via a multi-million pound one-way system.

Construction is also under way on the £15m sweeping double arched bridge which will link North Shore in Stockton and the thriving Teesdale area of Thornaby.

The future?

“This time next year people will be using the new bridge across the River Tees,” said Mr Docherty. “It will create a new postcard for Teesside - adding to the skyline created 100 years ago with the Transporter and Newport bridges.

“I’d also expect the opening of the bridge to coincide with building work at the site.”

VICTORIA HARBOUR, Hartlepool

NEWS of the huge £500m regeneration scheme in Hartlepool’s docklands - a joint development between Tees Valley Regeneration and land owners PD Ports - first broke in 2003.

The scheme is the biggest development site in the North, opening up 200 acres of prime seafront land.

A new school, homes, offices and landscaped green open spaces are just some of the features proposed.

Conditional planning permission has been granted.

The future?

“Victoria Harbour is the biggest development since the building of the docks in Hartlepool,” said Mr Docherty. “Work is under way on plans for the site and an announcement is due next summer on developers for Victoria Harbour. ”

CENTRAL PARK, Darlington

DETAILS of this £170m scheme were first revealed in October 2004.

Situated next to the railway station, it will eventually include 600 homes, office accommodation, a sculpture park and create 2,000 jobs.

Central Park is also the site of the new £35m Darlington College, which opened last year.

Overhead power lines which crossed the site have been put underground and junction improvements have been completed at the Haughton Road end of the site opening up access for both the college and the wider site.

Conditional planning consent has been granted and a trio of developers will deliver the Central Park masterplan - Commercial Estates Group, Yuill Homes and Keepmoat.

The future?

“The opening of the new Darlington College has been great for the site,” said Mr Docherty. “It has already seen a 20% increase in the number of students. We expect to make further good progress on the development of the site. We want to create a community where people are living, working and studying.”

DURHAM TEES VALLEY AIRPORT

A NEW business park is being designed to capitalise on the growth of Durham Tees Valley Airport.

Tees Valley Regeneration is working closely with English Partnerships, regional development agency One NorthEast and major shareholder Peel Airports on proposals for up to 28,000sq m of office development - with an emphasis on travel, airport and logistics-related activity and an additional 6,000 car parking spaces.

Work has been carried out to upgrade the airport’s facilities including an increase in the number of check-in desks, refurbished departure lounges and arrivals areas, improved car parking and baggage handling. A new £1.8m access road is now open.

The £12m project is also under way to build an interchange at Long Newton from the A66.

The future?

“We have a thriving airport,” said Mr Docherty. “Business and travel are critical for the economy. We are never going to be Heathrow, but there is great potential for employment and development on the south side of the airport site. We expect to make an announcement about the airport in the next six months.”

METRO SCHEME

HOPES for a Metro-style transport system for the Tees Valley got back on track last year as early stage work on a possible £140m system got under way. A Metro system could run along the route of the Darlington to Saltburn railway line. Future expansion of the service could take it to Hartlepool and Nunthorpe.

The future?

“I’d say we were cautiously optimistic about the Metro scheme,” said Mr Docherty.

“It would link towns in the Tees Valley and connect people with jobs. I think we have a chance of taking this project further. A business case is being prepared to provide a Metro for the area - and the general feeling now is the project is do-able.”

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