PLANS are under way to build up to 200 houses near the old town hall in Middlehaven and to bring thousands of jobs to Teesside. With this comes a plethora of new roads that need naming.
A few terraced houses began construction in central Middlehaven this spring, giving a first glimpse into what the major housing project will look like.
In this first stage of the new scheme the developer, PlaceFirst, plans to erect 40 new houses around the grade II-listed former town hall pictured above. The idea is to build affordable housing in the area to bring people into the well-situated area that is currently wasteland.
The area has been a long-term regeneration project for the mayor Andy Preston and Middlesbrough Council. Since the area is very close to the main train station, college, university, and Transporter Bridge, it is great spot for commuters coming into the centre of Middlesbrough.
A first glimpse at the new houses.
Although there are only 40 properties going to be built in the first faze of PlaceFirst’s building plans, them and the council aim to build around 200 houses in the area.
A former resident of Middlehaven Valerie Loughran said: “I really hope it turns out nice, because all my family used to be dockers and work with steel over there, it’d be nice to see work coming back into that area”.
“With it being private housing it might be better than when I lived there. I’d love to see Middlehaven take off, I’m dying to see this new port that we have got that will be really interesting and I really hope the snow dome can go ahead”.
Where the new housing will be.
The aforementioned port is going to add to the new houses as it will bring thousands of jobs to the area. This is because US industrial giants GE have confirmed it will build their turbine factory in the free port in Middlehaven.
Around 3,000 new jobs will be brought into the area after the government has announced a £20 million investment to develop a plethora of wind turbine factories on the banks of the Tees.
The final regeneration being brought to Middlehaven is to turn the Captain Cook public house into a bistro and a micro-brewery.
Eerily, the pub sits alone on St Hilda’s, looking out on the new college in Middlehaven. The elements have taken it’s tole on the building and with the windows being boarded up the beautiful architecture has become somewhat an eyesore.
However, the potential to make the Grade II listed building into a high-end gastro pub is clear.
The plans include turning a large empty room on the first floor into a function room. The basement – which has plenty of room – will become a micro-brewery, and boutique bedrooms could later be added.
Hopefully, some of the history will be maintained in the pub. It once, famously, hosted a TV Series Auf Wiederzien Pet.
It has stood on Durham street since the early days of Middlesbrough – approximately the 1940s.
The Captain Cook pub.
Speaking of the history of Teesside, the mayor of Middlesbrough Andy Preston, is fascinated in maintaining many of the local historical figures.
In a recent video posted to his twitter he has said: “this was the absolute heart of central Middlesbrough, this was where money was made and families were built, and there was business, excitement and prosperity”.
He also added that the new roads being built in Middlehaven to accommodate the new houses can be named after local Teesside heroes. Speaking to many older residents of Middlesbrough the idea of naming these streets after heroes that many people have first hand stories with has been very well received.
The likes of: Bob Mortimer, Jamie Bell, and Chris Rea do not have streets named after them yet and deserve recognition for what they have brought to the town.
In addition to this, there are many more cult heroes who demand acknowledgement. Sallie Bowyer, who has lived in the town for over 50 years, has said “Mary Jakes was involved in setting up the North Ormesby Hospital. As Middlesbrough has no hospitals so anyone injured had to go up to Newcastle and since we had shipbuilding and ironworks.”
“This saved an awful lot of lives. I had injections there and fell over and scraped my knee on a rake and had to have penicillin.”
John Loughran also tells a story of why he would want a street named after Roy Chubby Brown: “Our son, Scott, once got a massive tip off Chubby Brown. When he was a kid he worked on the furniture wagons for Barker and Stonehouse and he was like the boy and the driver delivered the furniture to Chubby Brown’s house and Chubby Brown said to the driver, would you do me a favour and drop my old suite off at my Mother’s house in South Bank. The driver said of course and he said here you go. So the driver got some money and gave your Dad whatever it was say 20 or 30 quid. Which was about a weeks wage.”
However, possibly with these new streets, some more modern heroes are being overlooked. Maureen Kinson says that “I think we should name a couple of the roads after Ben Houchen and Andy Preston, Houchen and Preston, because often when we are looking to name roads we look to the history but we have a couple of modern figures there who have brought so much to the town.”