A multi-million pound revamp of a North East station which officials hope will boost Northern travel links has begun.

Work has now begun on a new platform at Hartlepool station as part of a £12 million revamp carried out by building firm, Story Contracting.

Workers have now demolished the disused platform three and removed 1,500 tonnes of spent material, which will now be used for piling to support 16 canopies for the new platform, in a 108-hour process.

The works will improve capacity for future services between London and Sunderland, and there is hope it will improve connections between Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Newcastle and other major North East towns.

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Ben Houchen, Tees Valley Mayor visited the station alongside Shane Moore, Hartlepool Borough Council leader, after both worked to secure £12 million for its development.

He said: “After moving fast to bring down Hartlepool’s disused platform, no time is being wasted to get the new one up and running, with contractors now working hard to put the foundations in place during our year of construction.

“Now Government have announced new Investment Zones, which will make it easier to get spades in the ground to transform the town centre, it’s even more vital that Hartlepool has the infrastructure to support our ambitions for more investment and jobs.

“A redeveloped station with fast, reliable and convenient connections with the capital and capacity improvements will be a huge draw for businesses, ultimately regenerating our town centre and bringing more well-paid, good-quality jobs.”

The piling work, which will see 64 piles of material used to provide support for the new platform, is expected to be completed next week.

The existing platform 2 will also be extended by 20 metres to house the new footbridge and lift.

Mayor Houchen backed the aims of the Hartlepool Mayoral Development Corporation (MDC) and potential Investment Zone in the town.

The MDC aims to make the town a more attractive place to live and visit, support small businesses and deliver a master plan to maximise future funding.

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Cllr Moore said: “It’s fantastic to see the new platform taking shape so quickly. This multi-million pound upgrade – and the increased capacity and other opportunities which it will bring – is an integral part of Hartlepool’s ongoing transformation and will further enhance the town as a great place to live, work and invest.

“We are counting the months until the return of the Tall Ships to Hartlepool next year and it’s great to think that we will have a radically improved station in time for welcoming visitors to this major international event.”

The station upgrades, supported by Network Rail, Northern Trains Limited, Grand central and Hartlepool Borough Council, are due to be complete in time for the Tall Ships coming to the town in July 2023.

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