The Stockton Waterfront scheme, one of the North East’s most significant regeneration projects, is making substantial headway. Striking timelapse photos show the area where the Castlegate Shopping Centre and Swallow Hotel once stood is now cleared, making way for a new urban park and an NHS Community Diagnostic Centre. Steelwork for the NHS Centre is visible, while groundworks prepare the site for the park. Riverside Road is being narrowed to two lanes.

The project, spanning an area three times the size of Trafalgar Square, began 18 months ago with demolition work. Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council aims to revitalise the town centre, with retail concentrated in Wellington Square. As part of this wider Stockton Waterfront development, the Council is creating a modern urban park with improved connections between the High Street and the River Tees to attract residents and visitors.

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The Castlegate Shopping Centre and Swallow Hotel were long-standing features of Stockton town centre. However, shifting shopping habits, including the growth of online retail, affected their long-term viability. As part of its revitalisation plan, Stockton Council demolished these buildings, creating a waterfront area better suited to meet contemporary needs.

Park Design and Community Impact

Officials placing the first spade in the ground at Stockton Waterfront urban park in 2023. Photo: Stockton Council

The new urban park is designed to provide green space and leisure opportunities. It will include play areas, public artwork, and spaces for markets and events. The waterfront location offers scenic views and encourages a sense of connection to the river.

Stockton Waterfront

Councillor Nigel Cooke, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Housing at Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, said: “This is such an exciting time for Stockton and I’m very pleased we can finally say that work on the build of this fantastic urban park is underway.

“Where we are standing is set to be an iconic, nationally recognisable new public space for the Borough’s residents and visitors and will set the scene for our world-class events programme in the future. There’ll be something for everyone as they head through the different areas of the park.

“It’s a brilliant day to be a part of because we’ve been on a real journey across our six town centres and projects like this will be a catalyst for change, investment and external growth.”

The scheme aims to boost economic activity and enhance the town’s appeal as a destination.