Two north east companies have been appointed for the demolition of the Castlegate shopping centre and Swallow Hotel and its redevelopment to create Stockton Waterfront - a bold and visionary urban park in the heart of Stockton town centre.
MGL Demolition has been appointed for the demolition of the Castlegate Shopping Centre site, with Esh Construction appointed for the design and construction of Stockton Waterfront, including an urban park, riverside plaza and land bridge structure that will connect the high street to the river Tees.
This follows planning approval last year for Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council's ambitious plans to transform the town centre, tackle its empty shops and encourage new uses.
The first stage of the £36m, three-year project will begin on Monday 23 May, with enabling works and a strip out taking place before the main demolition works begin in late July. The demolition will take around 12 months to complete, before construction begins in summer 2023.
Between now and then, the detailed design of the site will be underway. Part of this will involve revisiting some elements of the existing concept design and the public will have the opportunity to have input into this process.
Mark Davison, joint chief executive of MGL Group, said: "We are extremely proud to be appointed to undertake the demolition of the Castlegate shopping centre and Swallow Hotel. This is an important project which will breathe new life into the high street and open up the town to the river and we are delighted to be playing a role in that.”
Esh Construction's civil engineering division will develop the design concept over the coming months in preparation for breaking ground on site. Steven Garrigan, Esh's divisional director, said: "This is a significant contract award for Esh as we continue our organic growth across the region. We are delighted to be working in partnership with Stockton Council to help them bring to fruition the future vision for Stockton Waterfront. As with all Esh projects, we will deliver a comprehensive package of initiatives to provide positive economic and social benefits for the local community."
Once complete, the new-look Stockton Waterfront, pictured above, will be home to new community facilities on the southern end of the site including a new leisure centre, library and customer service centre, helping to form an exciting combination of health, wellbeing and leisure in the heart of the town centre.
The urban park will also offer accessible space for community events and play host to the town's hugely popular outdoor events programme.
Nigel Cooke, cabinet member for housing and regeneration at Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, said: "We are ambitious for the borough and the scale of change that we are driving in Stockton town centre is validation of that. If you want to achieve big things you have to deliver big projects and we're working with the best to deliver something that's bold, different and is really transformational. We're delighted to be working with MGL Demolition and Esh Construction to develop this amazing waterfront site that will cement Stockton as a place for future generations to enjoy."
The project is being part-funded with a £20m investment from the Tees Valley Combined Authority. Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen said: "This is a great step forward for this massive project, which will breathe new life into Stockton town centre and reinvigorate its high street. It's fantastic to see Stockton is cracking on with their ambitious plans to reshape their town centre. Our funding and this latest news will mean local people will see a real change for the better in a matter of months, not years."