The creation of a new development corporation with Hartlepool “at its very heart” has moved one step closer.

Conservative Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen previously said the Hartlepool Mayoral Development Corporation (MDC) will help transform the town by “driving investment and cutting red tape”.

It will cover the Oakesway Business Park, retail and leisure land – including Mill House Leisure Centre and Middleton Grange Shopping Centre, along with public areas and civic buildings and secure £10m in funding.

Read more: Councillor suspicious of ‘too cosy’ development corporation boards

At the latest Hartlepool Borough Council finance and policy committee, councillors endorsed the organisation’s constitution.

Denise McGuckin, council managing director, stressed the local authority has been in extensive discussions and negotiations and secured “as many safeguards as possible to protect the council’s position”.

However, Labour’s Councillor Brenda Harrison said she still had some concerns the corporation’s board did not have enough representatives with “Hartlepool at their heart.”

Following the meeting, Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen reassured safeguards will be in place to ensure the council does not lose out.

He said: “I’m very pleased the MDC constitution has been endorsed by the committee and it takes us yet another step closer to getting the corporation up and running.

“A Hartlepool member will be the vice-chair of the MDC board and Hartlepool representatives will also need to be present for board meetings to go ahead and take decisions.

“Hartlepool is at the very heart of this – we wouldn’t be doing it if it wasn’t.”


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The board is to be made up of representatives from several Hartlepool businesses along with council leader Cllr Shane Moore, Police and Crime Commissioner Steve Turner and the Tees Valley Mayor.

Associate members will be Cleveland Police Chief Constable Mark Webster, TVCA chief executive Julie Gilhespie and council managing director Mrs McGuckin.