Agenda and minutes

Economic Development, Environment and Infrastructure Scrutiny Panel - Wednesday 12th January, 2022 10.30 am

Venue: Virtual Meeting

Contact: Susan Lightwing 

No. Item


Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest.


There were no declarations of interest received at this point in the meeting.


Minutes - Economic Development, Environment and Infrastructure Scrutiny Panel - 1 December 2021 pdf icon PDF 162 KB


The minutes of the meeting of the Economic Development, Environment and Infrastructure Scrutiny Panel meeting held on 1 December 2021 were taken as read and approved as a correct record.


Captain Cook Square Shopping Centre - Regeneration

The Director of Regeneration will be in attendance at the meeting to provide an update on Captain Cook Square Shopping Centre.


RECOMMENDATION: that the Panel determines whether any further information is required.


The Director of Regeneration provided an update on the Captain Cook Square Shopping Centre regeneration.


The Council had purchased the Captain Cook Centre some time ago and had initially been focussing on the area around the square near to the car park.  Due to some retailers leaving and proactive steps that had been taken with others, the Council now had vacant possession on quite a few units.  60,000 square feet of space had been let to Lane 7 and an E-Sports business would be moving into a unit previously occupied by Peacocks.  Both units required some work to make them suitable for leisure use and the frontages would be updated.   It was anticipated that both operators would be ready to open by late spring/early summer 2022. 


It was highlighted that Lane 7 already had a presence elsewhere in the town centre and at the present time the Council was not aware of any plan to close that establishment, although that would be a decision for the operators.


There were other potential occupiers who were interested in the units and the Council was looking at a reasonable range of different types of leisure use.  The pipeline of potential occupiers was healthy and the Council was keen to pursue certain types of business and quality operators, rather than letting units to anyone expressing an interest.  At this stage, further details of the other potential operators was commercially sensitive information. 


In respect of other tenants in the Captain Cook Centre, particularly retailers, the Council had made them aware that there were other options to accommodate them if necessary.  The Council now had a bigger portfolio of space available if existing tenants felt their business did not fit well with the increased leisure use within the Square and wished to relocate elsewhere in the town centre.


The Council had a plan to ensure that the upper floors of the units in the Captain Cook Square were brought into use and not used solely for storage as was generally the case presently.  The lettings agreed to date involved usage of the upper floors which would necessitate some changes to the outside of the buildings. The Council was prepared to fund some alterations to frontages, however, they would be relatively cosmetic changes unless the occupiers wanted something different. 


Work would also be undertaken to improve the frontage of the bus station   and it was confirmed that there was no current plan to move the bus station to a different location.  


Some of the potential occupiers were also looking at providing an outdoor terrace.  The curtilage of the units included the space up to where the canopy ended.   That outdoor space could be used for outdoor eating or potentially other activities.  It was the intention that the central area in the square would provide something that would inevitably be seasonal.   It could be used as an events space at times, or for extending the eating and drinking potential of different venues to fit their plans.  The scale  ...  view the full minutes text for item 21/49


The Green Strategy Review

The Head of Economic Growth and the Transport and Infrastructure Manager will be in attendance to provide information in relation to Middlesbrough Council’s Equity and Local Economy and Sustainable Transport Action Groups.


RECOMMENDATION: that the Panel determines whether further information is required.



The Head of Economic Growth and the Transport and Infrastructure Manager were in attendance and provided information in relation to the Green Strategy.


The Directorate led on two of the themes within the Green Strategy:  the Local Economy theme: how we build our economy and support local businesses to change their behaviours and become more sustainable, and the Sustainable Transport Theme.  It was highlighted that this did not limit the Directorate’s involvement in other issues, which included the cross cutting themes within Planning, management of Council buildings, the corporate estate, and policies and procedures.


Largely it was for the Council to set an example and provide information and infrastructure to allow businesses and residents, as well as the Council itself, adopt sustainable behaviours and strategies.  To do that, the Council needed to provide credible and affordable alternatives for public transport, in particular for people to navigate around the town, and make those positive behaviours more instinctive and not seen as a personal burden or a compromise for individuals or businesses.


The Council’s actions in relation to its Green Strategy, were increasingly important given climate change, and especially the current acute situation with energy costs.  As well as finding ways to reduce energy consumption, it was vital to find alternative sustainable energy sources to actually drive the economy, both in terms of businesses and transport. 


Many principles of the Green Strategy had already been embedded in departmental and Council work for some time.  Much of the work was based on existing powers that the Council had and ensuring policies aligned with the Council’s aims and existing resources.  The Council was exploring new opportunities in emerging funding programmes which involved cross-working with other authorities and the Tees Valley Combined Authority (TVCA).  As well as the emerging Levelling Up funding programmes, the new Shared Prosperity Fund, would hopefully be available later this year.  This fund would be the successor to the previous European funding that was largely targeted at energy efficiency and sustainability measures. 


In relation to the Sustainable Transport Action Group the Council were developing and expanding the walking and cycling network to encourage a modal shift for Middlesbrough residents, businesses and workers who commuted in and out of Middlesbrough each day. 


Within the Local Implementation Plan (LIP) the Council had followed Department for Transport (DFT) guidance and national policy and flipped the road user hierarchy to ensure that pedestrians and cyclists had priority on the road and not predominantly car users.  It was acknowledged that it would be a slow process to embed this aim across Middlesbrough but it would ultimately provide gains across the town.


New cycle lanes along Low Lane had been implemented during the last year to ensure new housing developments were connected with existing network and to improve east/west connectivity.  The cycle networks were intended to be used by both commuters and families.  The Council was developing a travel planning service, which would be embedded in the planning process.  When residents moved into new housing developments they  ...  view the full minutes text for item 21/50


Date of Next Meeting - 9 February 2022


The next meeting of the Economic Development, Environment and Infrastructure Scrutiny Panel would take place at 10.30 am on Wednesday 9 February 2022.


Overview and Scrutiny Board Update

The Chair will provide a verbal update on matters considered at the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Board held on 7 December 2021.


The Chair provided a verbal update on the Overview and Scrutiny Board meeting held on 7 December 2021.


Any other urgent items which in the opinion of the Chair, may be considered