Major works have begun in Hartlepool, as construction of the station’s new second platform takes shape.
Piling has started on the first phase of the £12 million scheme, which will see a total revamp of the station. A total of 64 piles will be driven seven to ten meters into the ground, in order to support creation of 16 canopies for the new platform, with this piling expected to be complete next week.
The existing platform 2 will also be extended by 20 meters to house the new footbridge and lift, and workers have already spent 108 hours demolishing platform three, removing 1,500 tonnes of material.
Work is being led by Story Contracting, and the team welcomed Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen and Hartlepool Borough Council leader Shane Moore to the site to see first-hand exactly how much work is going into the new developments.
Mayor Houchen worked closely with Counsellor Moore to provide £12 million in funding for the project, backing the aims of the Hartlepool Mayoral Development Corporation (MDC) and potential Investment Zone in the town. The MDC aims to reshape the town to make it a more attractive place to live and visit, support small businesses and deliver a master plan to maximise future funding.
As well as boosting the local area, it is hoped that the works will help provide more capacity to enable future service for routes including those between London and Sunderland operated by Grand Central. The development will also provide a potential boost to Northern services which connect Hartlepool with Middlesbrough, Newcastle and other major towns on the Durham Coast rail line.
The station upgrades, supported by Network Rail, Northern Trains Limited, Grand Central and Hartlepool Borough Council, are due to be complete in time for the Tall Ships coming to the town in July 2023.
Mayor Houchen said: “After moving fast to bring down Hartlepool’s disused platform, no time is being wasted to get the new one up and running, with contractors now working hard to put the foundations in place during our year of construction.
“Now Government have announced new Investment Zones, which will make it easier to get spades in the ground to transform the town centre, it’s even more vital that Hartlepool has the infrastructure to support our ambitions for more investment and jobs.
“A redeveloped station with fast, reliable and convenient connections with the capital and capacity improvements will be a huge draw for businesses, ultimately regenerating our town centre and bringing more well-paid, good-quality jobs.”
Councillor Shane Moore, Leader of Hartlepool Borough Council, said: “It’s fantastic to see the new platform taking shape so quickly. This multi-million pound upgrade – and the increased capacity and other opportunities which it will bring – is an integral part of Hartlepool’s ongoing transformation and will further enhance the town as a great place to live, work and invest.
“We are counting the months until the return of the Tall Ships to Hartlepool next year and it’s great to think that we will have a radically improved station in time for welcoming visitors to this major international event.”
Kerry Peters, regional director at Northern, said: “I am delighted to see work start at Hartlepool station. This project will improve the station for our customers as well as providing better connectivity across the region.”