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Vision for Stockton


We are working on...


Context & Opportunities


We are working towards...


Concept Plan


Next Steps


We are delivering...

Version 1.0 For further information please contact: Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council Municipal Buildings, PO Box 34, Church Road, Stockton-on-Tees TS18 1LD Telephone: 01642 527312



Image Credits:


CABE, G2 Photography, Gary Walsh, Matthew Hooton, Mike Kipling, Peter Fink, Peter Mernagh.

Purpose The Town Centre Prospectus identifies and highlights improvement projects Stockton Borough Council are delivering and seeks to provide an insight into projects we are working on and projects we are working towards. The Town Centre Prospectus builds upon the Draft Town Centre Urban Design Guide produced in 2010 and will act as means of showcasing developments that will come forward before 2015, supporting the long term masterplan for Stockton Town Centre. The purpose of the document is to showcase the potential of the High Street and seek views on the future regeneration of Stockton Town Centre. The prospectus is aimed at residents and visitors, current and future businesses, and partners who have an interest in the long term development and growth of the Town Centre.


Vision for Stockton



Infinity Bridge

The future vision for Stockton Town Centre is for a modern, successful and vibrant market town with high quality public spaces and a growing retail offer that

Support new & Existing Town Centre Anchor Stores

serves the needs of residents of the Borough,

Celebrated Market Town – Home of the Festival Year Round

Improved & Celebrated Rich Historic Fabric

High quality ‘Creative and Connected Spaces’ reinforce the town as the North East’s ‘Capital of Street Arts’ with animated public spaces that support the town’s rich heritage in street entertainment.

Strong Visual & Physical Links to the Riverside

Local Businesses, New & Existing Retailers


Supported by thriving Universities and modern educational establishments, Stockton Town Centre and Riverside will be a focal point for cultural and leisure activity through the provision of year round festivals

Vibrant Riverside Leisure Facilities

Thriving Evening Economy

and top class leisure facilities. Making the most of its unique built heritage through the conservation and enhancement of historic buildings. Continue to build on the asset of the River Tees and riverside area which provides a high quality setting for new businesses, recreational activities and unique opportunities for

Strong Town Centre Living Offer

Improved Transport Movement & On-street Car Parking

Transformed Public Realm

riverside living.


Context & Opportunities



Cultural Quarter


Victoria Estate


Cultural Quarter




Town Hall


Municipal Buildings & Library


River Tees


Parish Church & Gardens


Castlegate Shopping Centre


Wellington Square Shopping Centre


Millennium Bridge


High Street


Chandlers Wharf


11 9 10 7


3 6 2


5 1

Central Stockton covers the area shown on

Central Stockton incorporates the central

Central Stockton is home to a year round

the plan above incorporating Stockton-on-

retail, leisure and commercial hub of the

programme of festivals and events

Tees Town Centre, the Victoria Estate to the

town, encompassing the High Street,

underpinned by the annual flagship event

north east of the centre and the Riverside

Wellington Square and Castlegate

Stockton International Riverside Festival,

and Chandlers Wharf to the south east.

Shopping Centres which are populated by

the country’s largest, free street arts

independent and national retailers, the


This boundary follows the natural physical

Cultural Quarter - home to the Georgian

boundaries of the River Tees to the east and

Theatre and Green Dragon Studios; and the

The Borough of Stockton has a population

the ring road around the remainder of the

Civic Quarter containing a number of

of 192,000, which is expected to grow by


municipal functions and a state of the art

5% by 2021 and over 1000 new homes are

leisure centre.

planned to be built within a 1 mile radius of Central Stockton in the coming years.


Home to the internationally renowned annual Stockton International Riverside Festival (SIRF) and Stockton Weekender (former Fringe Festival). Flagship North Shore regeneration scheme home of the award winning Infinity Bridge. Proposals include 500 homes, business space, and extension of existing university campus all within one mile of the high street.

What does


State of the art Splash Leisure Centre situated within the core of the town centre, incorporating a swimming pool, newly refurbished fitness suite and sports hall.

Urban green space at Parish Gardens and Trinity Green allow for informal recreation in the heart of the town and provide event space to support our annual festival programme. 8

Home to the region’s largest outdoor Market which recently celebrated its 700 year anniversary, supported by regular specialist markets as well as the annual ‘Stockton Sparkles’ Christmas market.

Rich historic buldings dating back to the 15th Century, including the Town Hall and Shambles Market Hall.

River Tees running through the heart of the town provides a destination for events, competitions, numerous recreational pursuits such as Stockton Rat Race & Triathlon and is home to a number of fantastic leisure facilities.

have to

Safest town in the Tees Valley, Gold medallist and winner of ‘Best City’ in Britain in Bloom, and crowned ‘Best in Europe’ achieving gold standard in Europe’s biggest environmental competition ‘Entente Florale.’

Shops to suit all budgets from the Wellington Square and Castlegate Shopping Centres, to our many independent traders.

offer? Excellent cultural facilities at ARC, Cultural Quarter and the soon to be refurbished Globe Theatre.

University of Durham Queens Campus and Stockton Riverside College, incorporating linked courses with the University of Teesside, provide state of the art facilities for further learning. Situated on the south bank of the River Tees, less than one mile from the High Street. These establishments are home to over 4000 students.

Excellent public transport links served by frequent bus services, rail links at Stockton and Thornaby train stations. and over 2600 town centre parking spaces. Multi-million pound improvements to the local bus network and Tees Valley Metro are underway.

Multi-million pound investment in the Tees Barrage White Water Course to upgrade existing facilities to world class standards. Situated less than a mile from the town centre the course will attract numerous international standard water sport events and will host training camps ahead of the 2012 London Olympic Games. 9

Concept Plan



Tees House, High Street

The town’s most recent history recognises

The projects set out in this Prospectus aim

The concept plan that follows includes a

its role as the North East’s ‘Capital of

to capture the spirit of SIRF and reflect it in

new central square which will build on the

Street Arts’. Stockton’s International River-

the improvements we will make to the

existing heritage assets to provide a much

side Festival (SIRF), now in its 24 year, has

Town Centre. This will see enhancements to

needed heart and focal point to the Town

created an important signature and

the built environment that provide

Centre. This high quality piece of public

personality for the town; a personality that

character and interest through the

realm will be complemented by a series of

the proposals within this document will

materials we use and the new public spaces

open spaces which will support both the

build upon. The Council’s commitment to

that we create. By opening up areas and

market and annual programmed events to

develop SIRF and other annual festivals is a

introducing unusual designs and features

create a central hub of activity and an

demonstration of our efforts to improve the

that will enhance the streetscape, we aim

inviting environment 7 days a week.

economic and social prospects of Stockton

to encourage people to view the High

by increasing the numbers of people

Street in a different way to enjoy spending

This heart is surrounded by the existing

visiting the town centre for shopping, for

more time there and to create the same

shopping opportunities and cultural and

business and to spend leisure time. In doing

vibrancy and excitement of SIRF all-year-

historic quarters. Improved links to the

so, helping to secure existing shops and


riverside, fringe areas and neighbouring


transport hubs is essential to attracting

markets and to attract new retailers, new entertainment, leisure and hospitality

The town’s new creative and connected

surrounding residents, workers and visitors

businesses into the High Street.

spaces will also continue to enhance the

to the Town Centre. Gateways into the

more traditional roles of a town centre.

Town Centre will create a distinct sense of arrival and be easily accessible from the major transport infrastructure.


The Importance of Public Realm Illustrative examples of public realm:

Public realm can be a street, square or a park that is accessible whether publicly or privately owned, 24 hours a day for everyone to see, use and enjoy. The success of a public realm can depend on its appearance, its accessibility and flexibility. Building on the town’s rich heritage it is proposed to provide radical improvements to the public realm in Stockton Town Centre which delivered in conjunction with other town centre investment, will provide a distinct sense of place and increased footfall throughout the year.

Cathedral Gardens, Manchester.


Top: Sheffield Peace Gardens, Bottom: Oldbury Civic Fountain.

High Street improvements are proposed to create public space that will build upon our existing heritage assets to provide a much needed heart and focus for the Town Centre. This high quality piece of public space will introduce flexible spaces, a dedicated market square, an events area to the north to facilitate travelling markets, and the potential for areas of greenery creating a central hub of activity that will provide an inviting environment 7 days a week.

Norton Road is part of wider plans we are working on to enhance the Northern Gateway into Stockton.

North Shore Gateway plays a vital role in the wider regeneration of Stockton Town Centre. We want to optimise its riverside frontage with high quality development and public space that provides clear and strong connections to the Town Centre.

Historic Quarter builds on the foundations established by Stockton Heritage in Partnership Initiative (SHiP). A Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) is currently being developed as a partnership between Stockton Borough Council, Heritage Lottery Fund and private property owners.


Southern Gateway and its proposed re-alignment of Riverside Road as part of the Tees Valley Major Bus Scheme will increase the amount of potential riverfront development opportunities at the south end of the Town Centre.

Cultural Quarter is already a vibrant area with Green Dragon Studios and Green Dragon Yard and we want to build on their success.

plays a vital role in supporting Stockton’s International Riverside Festival and provides generous amounts of attractive urban public space. It is intended to reinforce this by creating improved linkages to the Town Centre, ‘opening up’ physical barriers to connect the Town Centre back to the riverside with views down to Infinity Bridge.


Development Vision We are delivering... 1

North High Street


Central High Street


South High Street


Globe Theatre


Stockton Central Library


Historic Quarter Investment




1 8 16

We are working on... Church Road Boulevard


Event Space


Castlegate Enhancements


Cultural Quarter


Creative Business Centre



Improvements to Norton Road


Redevelopment of Victoria Estate


Investment in Church Road


Development on North Shore Gateway


Delivery of Infinity View


Re-use of Swallow Hotel


Development of West Row Gap Sites


Development of Southern Gateway


Provision of a Food Store


18 17


Non geographical 14



We are working towards... 12



Artist led design & animation of Public Space




We are delivering...


Key projects that will transform the image of Stockton Town Centre, support the growth and development of the leisure economy and put in place the building blocks for an expanding retail and business sector. Proposed Improvements to Dovecot Street 15


North High Street

Concept visual of the potential view looking north towards the Globe Theatre.

Concept visual of the potential view looking east across Infinity Plaza towards Infinity Bridge.

Opportunities exist to reintroduce short

Changes to the existing High Street layout

stay car parking within the High Street as

will enhance the pedestrian experience and

part of the radical public realm initiative

coupled with improvements to existing

that will incorporate improvements to the

retail frontages, lighting and refurbishment

public transport network as part of the Tees

of the Globe Theatre will create a vibrant

Valley Major Bus Scheme. This introduction

gateway to the northern end of the High

of short stay parking at the northern end of


the high street will contribute to a total of approximately 50 new spaces on the High

North High Street improvements will tie


into the proposals for Central Square via

Kensington High Street, London:

the new Infinity View Plaza that create

An example of improved public realm with

improved physical linkages to the riverside

unnecessary street clutter removed to provide a

with direct views of the award winning Infinity Bridge. 16

street which works for both the pedestrian and the transport user.


Central High Street

Examples of public realm design. Concept visual of potential view across Central Square looking south towards the Town Hall.

The key design aim behind Central Square is

Although the primary function of this space

to create a piece of high quality public

is to create an all year round focus,

realm that provides a central focus for the

providing informal opportunities to sit, stay

High Street 7 days a week whist improving

and enjoy, it is envisaged that it will form

the setting of the listed Town Hall. This

an essential part of a series of flexible

central square will provide an intense hub

spaces within the Town Centre that will

of activity both during the day and into the

support the council events programme

evening which supports and reinforces the

including the Stockton International

linkages between the two main shopping

Riverside Festival.

centres, Cultural Quarter and Arc. We are going to undertake a separate study to establish the exact space required to facilitate all year round events. 17


South High Street

Concept visual of potential view south from the Market Square.

Further opportunities exist to reintroduce

around the Market Cross and Shambles

short stay car parking within the High

Market Hall with a new layout, stall size


and design.

This introduction of short stay parking at

Ongoing ÂŁ60m investment in bus

the southern end of the High Street will

infrastructure includes improved bus

contribute to a total of approximately 50

shelters, real-time display and improved

new spaces on the High Street.

reliability. A new dedicated space for taxis will be provided as part of the major public


Proposals for South High Street include a

realm improvements and road

Examples of uniform market stalls and Layout

dedicated market space concentrated


Top & Middle: Darlington Bottom: Newark


The Globe

O2 Academy - Newcastle

Brixton Academy - London

Works will begin on the ÂŁ4millon plus refurbishment of The Globe in 2011 re-opening as a 2500 capacity touring music and live entertainment venue in 2012. Supporting the redevelopment of The Globe, adjacent properties will be brought back into use to enhance the evening / leisure offer within the Town Centre. Building on the refurbishment of The Artist impression of The Globe at night.

Globe, the public realm in this area will provide an attractive but functional environment to support the future use of The Globe as an entertainment venue. As part of the proposals new surfacing, street trees and drop-off bays will be provided to complement short stay parking and wider improvements to North High Street. 19


Stockton Central Library Works on a ÂŁ1.9m redevelopment of Stockton Council's Central Library is underway. The existing building is undergoing a transformation which will include investment in new self-service technology, an enhanced reference and study facility, a local family library suite, improved ICT facilities, a new conference room and a new cafe. The redevelopment will also bring together the Customer Services Contact Centre and Cashiers Service all under one roof offering people a one-stop-shop for information, council services and the stateof-the-art library.



Historic Quarter Investment

The rich historic fabric of Stockton’s

Building on this investment the Council will

Heritage Quarter is in the process of being

look to provide a small grants scheme to

restored through the SHiP scheme and a

enable the improvement of shop fronts in

further ÂŁ3.3m will be invested if proposals

accordance with the forthcoming Shop

for Heritage Lottery Funding are successful.

Front & Advertisement Design Guide SPD.

This scheme will focus on 12 properties of historic importance, investment will see vacant floor space being brought back into use, building & shop frontages improved which will see physical changes to the central core of the High Street complemented by the delivery of high quality public space. Concept visuals of public realm improvements to Dovecot Street.

Buildings identified for investment under the THi bid.


Artist led design and animation of public space Building on the concept of Stockton’s

We might describe it as an attempt to

signature as the North East’s ’Capital of

create the ghosts or echoes of festival

Street Arts’ it is intended to encourage the

moments, providing subtle reminders of the

inclusion within all projects, a bespoke

Town Centre’s emerging personality as a

element of additional interest. Embracing a

festival town, and ensuring projects of real

shift from the traditional approach of

distinction which are rooted in a sense of

including physical artworks to embellish or

the place.

populate a space, to the full involvement of creative practitioners in the concept and design, from the outset of the projects. Such integral, artistic interventions could also include the use of light and projected imagery. The approach will not only result in lighting of the town in the traditional sense of projecting light on to significant buildings, bridges and streets; but might also create transient, moving, and interactive light and sound installations, generating unexpected experiences and encounters, prompting people to view the space in a different way and be aware of their place within it.


We are working on...


Green Dragon Yard


The vision for Church Road is to utilise the linear route into the Town Centre and implement street tree planting to provide a green boulevard connection to and from North Shore. Phase 1 of the project will provide opportunities for short stay car parking outside 16 Church Road and from Gloucester House down to North Shore gyratory. An optional phase 2 project may seek to rearrange the paving at the Civic Plaza to open up further short stay car parking outside Splash and Municipal Buildings.

View outside 16 Church Road

View along Church Road looking towards North Shore.


Creation of a dedicated events space to support SIRF and year round programme of events capable of accommodating up to 15,000 people with direct links to the Town Centre allowing easy movement between the High Street and the riverside.

8 24

Events Space

Church Road Boulevard


Castlegate Enhancements Opportunities to work with the owners of the Castlegate Centre to deliver a number of improvements, including the creation of improved physical links between the High Street and Millennium Bridge.


Cultural Quarter Opportunities to further enhance the Cultural Quarter will complement the existing public sector investment in its historic buildings and public realm to consolidate the hubs of cultural activities at the Georgian Theatre, Green Dragon Studios and Calvin House workshops. Optimizing use of the historic buildings in the Quarter for further creative industries live/work accommodation and expansion of activity into the yards and ginnels with acoustic performances, markets and outdoor eating will add to the niche offer of the Town Centre.

Bringing existing vacant property in the Town Centre back into use, through the creation of a digital and creative hub to support existing and projected demand for this high growth sector of the local economy. The facility will provide direct and functional links to the existing ‘Digital City’ network and wider creative industries cluster including The University of Teesside.


Creative Business Centre


Church Road Boulevard Artists Impression

06 26

We are working towards...


Norton Road

Norton Road is a part of a wider Regeneration Strategy called The Northern Gateway. The Northern Gateway area will see major regeneration take place over the next decade with over 600 new dwellings, a new secondary education Academy, an iconic youth services facility and associated public realm and highway infrastructure. This will transform this area of Stockton in the coming years.

Identified as a major housing regeneration site, Victoria is part of the Northern Gateway Initiative. Although the site demonstrates the benefits of green infrastructure within the town centre, the area is currently occupied by 1950’s social housing blocks which have become dated and visually do not represent current trends in town centre living.


Victoria Estate

Opportunities exist to maximize the future land use of current local authority and neighboring landowner assets along Church Road. Potential future uses including a hotel and restaurants would support the redevelopment of the Globe Theatre, North Shore Gateway and aspirations to grow the evening economy in this part of the Town Centre.


Church Road



North Shore Gateway

North Shore is a flagship regeneration scheme of regional importance on the Stockton riverside. Building on the success of Infinity Bridge and the forthcoming construction of the home zone, proposals for the gateway to North Shore will create new and exciting development incorporating public space and pedestrian linkages to the Town Centre. It is envisaged that the site as a whole, once completed, will transform this area of Stockton’s riverside and have great economic benefits for Stockton Town Centre, creating a new vibrant place to live, work and play.


Infinity View

As part of a wider regeneration strategy to create better links to the riverside, the Infinity View Plaza and Infinity View gateway seek to achieve a high visual and physical impact between the riverside and the High Street. The first phase of this delivery is to redevelop the site which Lindsay House currently occupies. This will provide the opportunity to open up views and create a high quality plaza that will connect the High Street to the area surrounding the wind sculpture, whilst still providing built form on the High Street. The second phase could potentially involve new development on Bishop Street car park providing opportunities for ground floor cafes/restaurants with residential above.


Swallow Hotel

The Swallow Hotel occupies a prominent location in the Town Centre. The building currently lies vacant with no immediate prospect of a new operator taking control of the building. The Council will continue to work with the owners of the building to ensure the site plays a full and meaningful role in the regeneration of the Town Centre. 28


West Row Gap Sites

Situated on the western edge of the High Street, the former bingo hall site has been identified as a development opportunity that would upgrade derelict land to provide sustainable employment uses. It is envisaged that development would seek to enhance street frontage treatment both on High Street and West Row to emphasise the site as a key gateway to the Town Centre. Any proposed scheme must respond to the scale and massing of the adjacent buildings and the relationship to streets and spaces in the surrounding area. It is envisaged that buildings will be generally a minimum of 2 storeys rising to no more than 3 storeys. The building or series of buildings will be required to relate to the existing built form and should reflect the historic context on the area making reference to the burgage plots that once lined the High Street.


Southern Gateway

Southern Gateway comprises the Chandlers Wharf estate adjacent to the River Tees and a development site to the south of the High Street. In the short to medium term opportunities exist to bring forward an iconic gateway development on the site adjacent to the High Street to provide a sense of arrival and to achieve better linkages between the riverside and existing key assets within the Town Centre. The Council will continue to work with the owners and occupiers of the Chandlers Wharf estate to maximize the potential of this key gateway site.

Food Store Attracting a major food store operator into the Town Centre is a key aspiration for Stockton and will act as a major asset in terms of strengthening the retail offer and increasing footfall. The council will continue to work with agents and operators to identify and assemble suitable sites that will facilitate the delivery of a food store within the Town Centre.


Next Steps



Globe Theatre

refurbishment on site. •

Stockton Central Library

realm works including

realm improvements

improvements on site.

Market Square complete.

including Infinity View

North High Street

stay parking on High

improvements complete.

Street at Southern Loop

heritage properties

Northern Loop open.

to Cultural Quarter.

Central Square public realm improvements including Infinity View

Globe Theatre opens.

Further improvements to Castlegate Centre.

Plaza on site.

Improvements to

North Shore Gateway on site. •

area underway.

First phase of

Southern Gateway

improvements to

junction improvements on

Castlegate Centre.


Site preparation &

Southern Gateway development on site. Infinity View development on site.

South High Street

Gateway junction

public realm

enhancements complete.

improvements including market square on site.

Further enhancements

First phase of short stay parking on High Street at

clearance for Southern



Second phase of short

public realm

Improvements to

Public Realm in SHiP

Central Square public

Plaza complete.

public realm

refurbishment on site. •

South High Street public

North Shore Home Zone on site.

North High Street

Cultural Business Centre opens.

Church Road investment underway. West Row gap sites development on Site.

Council adoption of Town Centre Urban

Victoria Estate regeneration underway.

Design Guide Improvements to Norton Road underway. Parkfield & Swainby Road Housing Regeneration Year Round Programme of Festivals 31

Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council Municipal Buildings, PO Box 34, Church Road, Stockton-on-Tees TS18 1LD Telephone: 01642 527312 E-mail: Website:

Stockton Town Centre Prospectus  

Take a look at what we are doing now and what we plan to do in the future. Have your say on development plans for Stockton Town Centre.

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