The finishing touches are being made to Stockton’s newly rejuvenated town centre.
Over the coming months the final stages of the town’s physical transformation will be carried out ahead of its official launch this spring.
Soft landscaping is being laid around the water feature to complement the focal point at the heart of the town where people can sit, relax and enjoy the hustle and bustle of the High Street.
Stockton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Transport, Councillor Mike Smith, said: “Thanks to the town’s physical regeneration, Stockton is quickly becoming a welcoming, enticing and bustling place to be.
“By creating more parking on the High Street it is now much easier for people to pop into the town to visit its many shops, independent businesses and cultural and leisure opportunities.
“The town looks much more attractive than it did two-and-a-half years ago when the works began which has made a vast difference and we are already reaping the benefits with businesses choosing to establish themselves in the town and more shoppers and visitors taking the opportunity to take advantage of the events, specialist markets, shops, businesses and eateries.
“Stockton is going from strength to strength. It is the place to be in 2015 and I am really looking forward to seeing it continue to flourish for many more years to come.”
The town is seeing much more than just a physical transformation, vacancy rates are the lowest they have been in three years.
In the last 12 months more than 40 businesses have opened, expanded or relocated in Stockton Town Centre and a new, larger Enterprise Arcade opened at 35-37 Stockton High Street in November.
The beautiful heritage building is home to a variety of fledgling retailers, each offering a wide range of quality products, while more than 7,000 people enjoyed the Stockton Sparkles specialist market in December.
Meanwhile, the owners of the Castlegate Centre, Ellandi are working with study hotel company, Urban Student Life to bring the vacant Swallow Hotel back into use as luxuriously refurbished student accommodation.
It will bring a new, vibrant community onto the High Street which will benefit the many businesses based in the town centre. If planning permission is granted the building will be restored and transformed into more than 130 rooms as well as common areas like an cinema, in-house laundry, safe storage and multi-faith prayer rooms.
To keep up-to-date with the developments visit www.rediscoverstockton.co.uk