The £4m refurbishment and extension of the Grade 2 Listed Former GPO post office building on Whitby Street in Hartlepool provided a serviced facility, offering 28 studio spaces for start-ups and small businesses.
Located near the centre of town and the Hartlepool Train Station, the project complimented the existing innovation district and was aimed at graduate capture, retaining knowledge in the city, and helping to nurture new business enterprise.
The space had been derelict for several years since the closure of the former Zeus nightclub until Hartlepool Borough Council had plans to restore the building to its former glory. Gus Robinson Developments worked with the Hartlepool Borough Council through all aspects of the planning and construction from inception through to completion, whilst delivering exceptional quality and value for money.
This award-winning development created a conversation between old and new, where the original building is the dominant feature. The existing building is extended by providing a fourth wing, enclosing the central area to create a common social space, which links both the past and present buildings, unifying the spaces into one single facility.
The building received the LABC Northern Building Excellence Award for the Best Change of Use of an Existing Building, the RICS Social Impact Heritage Award and the RTPI North East Award for Planning Excellence in 2020.
It also won the National RTPI Award for ‘Excellence in Planning for a Successful Economy’ in 2021.