29 Feb 2016

New lease of life for retail park

London, 29 February, 2016 – Business and council chiefs are confident that the arrival of an upmarket coffee outlet in Hartlepool will help stir up further interest in a town retail park.

One of the world’s leading brands – Costa Coffee – has just been granted planning permission by Hartlepool Council for a new drive-through coffee outlet at Hartlepool’s Vision Retail Park, Hartlepool Marina.

Known previously as Highlight Retail Park, owners M Seven – a leading real estate company – is investing a substantial seven-figure sum refurbishing the 65,000 sq ft retail units, upgrading the entire terrace frontage plus significant landscaping and improvements to the car park area.

The Marina and waterfront area is one of eight areas identified in the Hartlepool Vision – a radical new blueprint to revitalise key areas of the town, sparking the town’s wider regeneration and laying the foundations for future prosperity.

Stewart Smith, Asset manager with M Seven, said: “We attended the launch of the Hartlepool Vision in January 2014 and were impressed with what we heard from Hartlepool Council, so had no hesitation in committing to this investment which we have since re-named Vision Retail Park.

“We could see that there was lots of enthusiasm locally to rejuvenate the town and clearly we wanted to be part of that.

“We are delighted that planning consent has now been granted for Costa Coffee. It’s great to attract such a well-known brand; there is a lot of interest in the remaining units and I am confident that we’ll have further announcements in the months ahead.

“With the arrival of the National Museum of the Royal Navy and the Council’s ambitious plans to drive the town forward, it’s a good time to invest in Hartlepool. It’s a town which is on the up.”

Costa Coffee will occupy a purpose-built unit at the western edge of the site which borders Marina Way which could be completed as early as autumn 2016.

The refurbishment of the Vision Retail Park units and associated work is expected to be completed by spring 2016.

Councillor Christopher Akers-Belcher, the Leader of Hartlepool Council, said: “M Seven is a significant investment and asset management company known throughout the UK and Europe, and we are thrilled that they have bought into the Hartlepool Vision.

“The improvements to the retail park are very impressive and it’s a huge boost to attract a brand name like Costa Coffee.”

Councillor Stephen Akers-Belcher, vice-chair of the Council’s Regeneration Services Committee, added: “Vision Retail Park occupies a prime site between the Hartlepool Marina and town centre.

“The regeneration of these areas is identified as priorities for the Council to create jobs, attract more visitors to our town and boost the local economy.
“It’s tremendous news that M Seven has attracted Costa Coffee to the town and I am confident that it will help to pull in other businesses as we move forward.”

The main contractor for the Vision Retail Park redevelopment is Bilton and Johnson and local suppliers are being used wherever possible. These include Buildroute Ltd and Alf Maw Haulage.