Next steps for Redcar Town Deal projects

Projects which will transform Redcar town centre will move forward in the coming months.

The demolition of the former Marks & Spencer and Goodwins buildings on Redcar High Street will start at the end of this month.  Major construction on an exciting new venue for family-friendly entertainment – which will also host a state-of-the-art library – will then take place throughout 2024/25. 

In the summer, improvements will be made to the High Street and surrounding area, with new paving, planters and trees, and improved lighting. In addition, more accessible footpaths and updated parking spaces will be created on the Esplanade.

The improvements follow the completion of a Clean Energy Education Hub at Redcar and Cleveland College, which opened last year, and the imminent opening of a Coastal Activity Hub, a sport and events hub at Majuba.

All these projects were developed by the Redcar Town Deal board, which is made up of industry experts, business leaders and Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council representatives. 

Unfortunately, the projects have been affected by high inflation, meaning all are now significantly more expensive.  To keep within budget, the Redcar Town Deal board has been forced to make some tough decisions to reduce costs.

Improvements to all of Station Road will now be removed from the scheme, although the major development of the Grade II listed Redcar Central Station is anticipated to start in late Spring, funded through a different pot of Government money. 

A colourful facelift of properties on Newcomen Terrace will not now go ahead. Not all the owners of the properties have agreed for their buildings to be painted, meaning the effect of the facelift would be piecemeal.

Changes will also be made to plans for lighting in the High Street.

Catherine Clennett, chair of the Redcar Town Deal Board, said: “It is excellent news that we have now reached the stage where these transformative projects are becoming a reality. The work in the town centre will provide a focal point for people visiting the town centre and will bring prosperity to the High Street and Esplanade.

“Unfortunately, we have not been immune to the steeply rising costs associated with major projects and we have had to take some decisions we would not have wished to. However, the board is hopeful that the projects which cannot now go ahead can be revisited in the future through alternative funding.”

Cllr Alec Brown, Leader of Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council and a board member, said: “The upcoming work on the major Redcar Town Deal projects will build on significant regeneration which has taken place in the town already. The Regent and the playpark and golf course at Coatham are complete and work will start soon on Redcar Central Station.

“I joined the Redcar Town Deal board in May and it's been frustrating to see them having to reduce the scale of some of the projects after a couple of tough economic years nationally.”   

Fellow board member and Redcar MP Jacob Young added: “The intention of the funding from the Government for the Redcar Town Deal was that the projects would transform and revitalise the town centre. The projects we are now focused on will bring residents and visitors into Redcar town centre and provide young people with the skills needed to take advantage of job opportunities in the green industries which we believe will bring prosperity to the borough.”