Stockton town centre revamp revised

image copyrightStockton Council
image captionThe council believes the scheme will make the town centre less reliant on retail

A huge town centre revamp has been overhauled and is now set to include a new leisure centre, while hundreds of council workers will be relocated elsewhere.

Stockton Council announced plans in February to replace half of the High Street with a £37m riverside park.

New council headquarters were initially planned in the area, but staff now look set to be based in Thornaby instead.

Councillors are set to agree to the changes at a meeting next Thursday.

Under the revised plans, Stockton Splash leisure centre would be closed and replaced by a £15m facility on the southern end of High Street with a pool and gym.

The building would also have a new library, a register office, meeting spaces and customer service centre, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

Officials said the re-think over the location for council staff came after Dunedin House, on the Teesside Business Park, came up for sale in recent weeks.

Nigel Cooke, cabinet member for regeneration and housing, said it provided a "perfect opportunity". 

"This building is of a very high specification. It was the headquarters of the Teesside Development Corporation many years ago and it was their showcase office. It's a fantastic facility."

Councillors hope workers will travel over the River Tees to the new High Street developments.

image captionDunedin House is large enough to host hundreds of council workers, the authority said

Richard McGuckin, director of the council's town centres development team, said the urban park "remained central" to the authority's vision but the commercial development at the southern end was important to drive footfall in the town.

He added there had been significant interest from private firms about moving into the area following the unveiling of the riverside park plans.

The park will be three times the size of London's Trafalgar Square and is estimated to be completed in 2025.

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