Improving Hartlepool Podcast Episode 6

Hello & welcome to the Improving Hartlepool Podcast,

I’m Steve your presenter. The Improving Hartlepool Podcast is looking in to community matters, how Hartlepool could be improved, & how it could be a better place to live & work and everything else in-between.

Coming up on this episode of the Improving Hartlepool Podcast.
We take a look at cycling initiatives proposed in Hartlepool, we then move onto the UK film market and the film studios in Hartlepool that are set to be the largest outside of London, and a wartime rescue boat is in Hartlepool to be restored and put on display.  
We also have another two regular features the first feature we take a look in to ideas or what’s happening in other parts of the country or even the world this section is called Would it Work and asking if it would work in Hartlepool, and on this podcast, we are asking if town wide WIFI initiative in Hartlepool is a possibility?  
And the last item is about buying or shopping local, where I review a shop or local service I have used recently and in this episode I’m reviewing LilyAnne’s coffee shop. 

Cycling Initiative 

Plans for 10 new bike lockers across two sites in Hartlepool have been submitted aiming to encourage cycling in the area. 
 Plans have been proposed for eight cycle lockers outside Mill House Leisure Centre for staff and members of the public. There have also been plans submitted for two cycle lockers at the Burn Road depot.  
There will also be a competition to create a design for the lockers outside the Mill House Leisure Centre, which will involve The Northern School of Art.   

Hartlepool Borough Council say they want to get more people cycling in the area, they also say “The wider intention is to support sustainable and active travel to the Leisure Centre by providing suitable facilities for cycling.  

And it’s only right that Hartlepool Borough Council should set ambitious targets improving local transport including traffic reduction targets and support for walking and cycling, what local green transport projects are being proposed?  

When you look in to car ownership figures in Hartlepool the wards with the lowest levels of car ownership are Owton at 54% with no car and Stranton with 57% with no car, what is been done to improve walking & cycle routes there are there any and what is the public transport like, is it up to scratch?  

You can also look at the areas with the highest levels of car ownership such as Park which has 90% car ownership, and Hart which has 84% of ownership, what can be done to reduce car use? What is been done to reduce somebody jumping in the car to go down to the shops which would only be a ten-minute walk? Is there any strategy in place to reduce these numbers? 

I’m originally from York which is horrendous for driving, I lived in the city centre and never drove as it wasn’t viable at all, no proper parking, would take me 10 minutes to even get out of my street when I could just jump on a bus, granted it didn’t suffice for every journey, but the public transport infrastructure was in place. 

 I’ll tell you what, if somebody from Hartlepool Borough Council wants to come on and tell us what initiatives they have or are introducing to reduce car use and improve walking and cycling facilities throughout the Borough get in touch, you have an open invitation here to have the mic for as long as you may need… 
Film Studio 

An ambitious plan to turn Hartlepool into a film and television production hub has been announced. When you look at the benefits it may bring,  
Toronto’s film and TV production has surged past $2 billion us dollars per annum, Georgia’s film & tv industry generates $9.5 billion us dollars per annum granted it is the no1 filming location in the world, however as can be seen in both the small screen and big screen such as Vera, George Gently, Billy Elliot, Atonement, Victoria & the list goes on & on & on the North East could benefit from a slice of that with the plans to convert an ex bus depot in Lynn Street. 
The building would be called The Northern Studios and be occupied by The Northern School of Art, which has its new £8m campus just a stones throw away.  

If approved, it would be the North East’s first dedicated production facility capable of housing large scale film and TV production.  

Pat Chapman, the art college’s vice principal – employability and external relations, said: “As the specialist provider of education and training for the creative industries in the region, we are delighted to have taken this important next step in bringing about a new chapter of ambition and regeneration for the North East. “The Northern School of Art has a clear role in championing the growing creative sector in the region and taking positive steps to help it grow in value and employment.” The plans include a flexible commercial sound stage for TV and features production, a green screen/smaller studio for visual and special effects and corporate filming as well as a training studio for students.  

The studios will also incorporate large workshop spaces with industrial scale 3D scanning and printing facilities for set and prop construction for the screen, stage and events industries, offices, parking, storage and a café/visitor centre. 

Mr Chapman added: “This is an exciting time for Hartlepool as we see investment in the regeneration and future of the town – this development can underpin not just local but regional growth and prosperity. “We have so many reasons why we should seize this opportunity – a shortage of commercial studio space due to the massive growth in the UK screen industry which means that the UK is missing out on opportunities and an increase in location filming in the area for which we can provide a more efficient production base.” 

Wartime Boat Restoration. 

A nationally important rescue boat that played a number of roles in the Second World War has just sailed into Hartlepool.  
The National Museum of the Royal Navy Hartlepool has welcomed the arrival of Rescue Motor Launch (RML) 497 as part of a £1.1million investment programme. 
During the war, the 112ft wooden boat was used in submarine hunting, anti-aircraft protection, and rescuing downed airmen. 
The Tees Valley Combined Authority made a grant of £499,250 towards her relocation combined with an investment by the National Museum. 
I can’t wait to see her restored and have a look around a piece of our naval history when she goes on display. 

Would it Work? 

In this episode of Would It Work we look at if a town wide WIFI initiative in Hartlepool would work? 

The internet has been described as the ‘decisive technology’ of our century, but how important is it truly in people’s minds? A survey by a UK broadband provider TP-Link has suggested that some people think the internet ranks above shelter, food and sleep in its importance in their lives. Another survey found that the internet is considered more important than daylight by many people. 
There would be many people who would question the need for free public wi-fi, even in major city centres. We don’t expect free electricity or free public transport, so why should people get free internet? 
But the advocates see it as a move that could stimulate business and provide a boost to quality of life. tech blogger Sam Churchill said “But it’s a basic requirement these days, just like water and power in a civilised society, that helps people communicate and keep informed. 

Whereas Kulveer Ranger says that, ”Wi-fi is not something we would put money into,” “We put money into things with a direct application to public service, like transport.” 
And this attitude is why some people say the private sector is a more viable route. 

There open WiFi networks, in partnership with IntechnologyWiFiare truly free for all users and have no restrictions on time, with fast internet coverage provided in the open air in both town centres for residents and visitors seeking to log-on while ‘on-the-go’. 
A free WIFI network will also support community engagement and social and digital inclusion by offering free access to the internet, and provides a platform through which a host of new revenues can be generated benefitting the local authority. These include sponsorship deals with reputable and trusted brands keen to engage with local users.  

If done right and with the right network in place HBC would be able to use the network to deliver local services more efficiently through the so-called Internet of Things, where remote sensors gather data from the surrounding environment for analysis. This can help inform decisions about traffic management, refuse collection and leisure facilities. 

InTechnologyWiFi’s largest roll-out so far has been in Edinburgh, the area of which covers about one-and-a-half square miles. While not quite as extensive as that, the Windsor and Maidenhead project works on the same principle, providing blanket connectivity for the town centre, which includes the majority of both locations’ most popular shops, pubs and restaurants. 

The network infrastructure consists of around 50 Wi-Fi access points deployed across each city-site, alongside 100 point-to-point wireless links and 50 network switches. The access points support connectivity at both 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies, with more than 300 potential users on each. Resilience is baked into the system via the use of wireless meshing and redundant loops. 

The network is monitored automatically, all-day, every-day, using a system – of which InTechnologyWiFi refused to give details – that gives a “real-time view of any issues.” 

Further value is added through the provision of an app, known as Cit-Wise, through which users are informed about upcoming local events via a scrolling feed. They can also reserve restaurant tables, taxis and so on. 
“We offer the app, which we developed ourselves, as a service,” says Duckworth. “The data is provided by affiliates such as Ticketmaster, Skiddle and bookatable, as well as local tourist information organisations like Visit Windsor. 

“The latter pass on editorial content which we upload. It’s something we’ve rolled out for every  
local authority that we’ve worked with, as part of our USP. ”

Shop Local 

We now move on to the final segment of the podcast where I review a local business or service and, in this episode, I am reviewing LilyAnne’s coffee shop. 
And what can I say except the service was outstanding, I even got a free mint chocolate, I only drink tea so I can’t comment on any other food or drink, one of the most amazing things is you can “suspend a coffee” and at this time of year when it’s cold, rainy or snowy it really could help somebody get a warm drink and get out of the cold even if it’s just for 20-30 minutes, now isn’t that something, ya know that’s a society that we should be aiming for helping people out just because we can, and these are the types of businesses we should be buying from, because they help people out just because they can .    

Again, I will point out this is not an advert, I’ve not been paid to do it and they probably don’t even know I am reviewing them, it’s just my opinion as a customer

I’ve been Steve & thanks for listening to Improving Hartlepool Podcast see you again on the next episode.  

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