Council to consider proposals to buy part of Billingham Town Centre for future redevelopment

Aerial images of the Billingham town centre plans
Aerial images of the Billingham town centre plans -Credit:Stockton Council

Proposals for the acquisition of a portion of Billingham Town Centre are set to be reviewed by councillors, as part of an ongoing commitment to invest in and transform the town.

Subject to Cabinet approval in June, the plans would involve purchasing the West Precinct, including the former library site and Queensway South buildings from owners Evolve Properties. Both areas are currently partially vacant, underused and in poor condition. If given the green light, the council will collaborate with centre owners to relocate businesses within these areas, paving the way for the site's demolition and redevelopment.

The plans form part of an emerging masterplan for Billingham Town Centre, which features concept designs for a new residential area in the town centre, additional retail space and enhancements to parking, public toilets, accessibility and public realm. The refurbishment of the former council office, Wynyard House, is also included, ensuring the authority maintains a physical presence in the town centre and boosts footfall.

READ MORE: 'Dark cloud over TS3': Tributes to Carl James after alleged Jack and Jill pub attack READ MORE: Grieving mum addresses speeding van driver who killed his best friend in crash

The council will work closely with Evolve Properties to engage with affected tenants and assist them in relocating to other suitable town centre properties. The purchase and demolition of Billingham Town Centre will be financed by £20m secured by the council from the Government's Levelling Up Fund for the Stockton North Constituency.

The plans were formulated following the 'Let's Talk About Our Towns' public consultation in 2020, which sought opinions on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to transform the borough's six town centres.

Councillor Nigel Cooke, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Housing, said: "It's clear that parts of Billingham are in need of investment, and we've been working with the town centre owners to reach a positive conclusion to bring transformational change to the town. We've got a strong track record for delivering bold regeneration schemes across the borough and I am delighted to be in a position where we can step in and take control to lead and shape Billingham's future.

"Under this ambitious plan, the oversupply of retail space will be brought in line with demand and is the continuation of the changes we've been making in recent years to make the town centre a place that people choose to visit to live, work and do business. Alongside Evolve, we will be speaking to businesses in the town centre, including those who will be impacted by these proposals, to work with them to find them a suitable town centre home."

The partial acquisition of Billingham Town Centre and the plans for its future use will be considered at a Council Cabinet meeting on Monday, June 17. If approved, the decant of tenants would get underway with a view to starting demolition in early 2025.

Plans are advancing for a proposed sports hub on the former Billingham Campus site, developed through the Football Foundations Hubs Programme. The programme aims to create financially sustainable grassroots sports facilities.

Emerging proposals for the site include artificial grass pitches, a 200m oval athletics track, a 1km two-lane track for amateur and experienced runners, cyclists, walkers, dog walkers and other users, as well as grass pitches. A public consultation on these proposals is set to commence soon, with a planning application expected to be submitted this summer.

Following this, a formal funding application will be made to the Football Foundation later in the year. If successful, construction on the Sports Hub is slated to begin in Spring 2025.