Spades in the ground for Stockton Waterfront scheme

Planned development at Stockton Waterfront

Construction of Stockton’s new urban park, a new public space for residents and visitors, is now under way.

North of England contractor Esh Construction is working on behalf of Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council to deliver the Stockton Waterfront development.

The scheme is part of the council’s commitment to further develop the borough’s town centres, ensuring they are vibrant places which are economically successful, attracting investment and fit for future generations.

The project is being funded by a combination of the council’s own capital, a £20m investment from the Tees Valley Combined Authority and £16.5 m from the Government’s Future High Streets Fund.

Councillors and representatives from Esh Construction, joined Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen to mark the start on site where the former Castlegate Shopping Centre and Swallow Hotel stood before its demolition earlier this year. 

Esh’s chief executive Andy Radcliffe said: “This development is set to play an influential and iconic role in the future of Stockton town centre, and it is a proud moment for us, as a local contractor, to be delivering the scheme. 

“Through our approach to ‘Constructing Local’ we will maximise the social and economic benefits within the Tees Valley by providing local employment and procurement opportunities, delivering award-winning school engagement initiatives, and supporting the next generation to pursue a career in construction with meaningful work placements.

“There is huge transformation happening across Tees Valley and we’re delighted to be part of it.”

The development will include a series of  play areas and a host of flexible spaces across the urban park, which will open up the high street and connect it to the River Tees through a land bridge structure, spanning Riverside Road, providing uninterrupted access to the riverside from the high street.

Work in the first phase will include the realignment and narrowing of Riverside Road, the construction of a 55m land bridge structure and extension of the existing Millenium Footbridge.

Phase two will include paving elements for the oval lawn taking the park over the top of the highway, new gardens and the installation of new play areas. In the final phase, the construction of a large-scale amphitheatre will link the high street to the riverside and provide an impressive event space. 

The layout of the park takes influence from the linear burgage plots and historic connections between the working river and high street. Heritage interpretation will feature throughout, with Stockton and Darlington Railway line interpretation under the Millennium Footbridge and heritage railway lines close to the riverside within the feature paving.

A large-scale play area for all ages will be the focal point of the park and will include a variety of features to make the play space as accessible as possible. 

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “It is fantastic to see work starting on this project, which is one of the biggest transformations that Stockton has ever seen and will create a town centre that people deserve. 

“We want our town centres to be vibrant places for families to relax and this new public space will drive visitors to Stockton. 

“This will help support the superb businesses already in Stockton and encourage more shops, cafes and restaurants to open for people to visit.”

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