Demolition of Stockton's Castlegate Shopping Centre and Swallow Hotel begins

Demolition starts in Stockton to make way for a new riverside park and offices. Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

The demolition of a Stockton shopping centre and historic hotel has started.

The Castlegate Shopping Centre and Swallow Hotel have dominated the High Street since the 70s.

Knocking them down will make way for a riverside park and offices - opening up the High Street to the river.

The existing multi-storey carpark will be demolished first, followed by part of the Swallow Hotel and most of the southern section of the shopping centre, before workers move north through the rest of the centre.

The demolition will take around 12 months to complete, and work will start on the construction and redevelopment of the urban park in summer 2023.

The Swallow Hotel closed in August 2009. Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

The urban park is set to be complete by 2025 and will be home to a new leisure centre, library, NHS facility and customer service centre on the southern end of the site.

Councillor Nigel Cooke, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Housing at Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, said: “This is a huge step forward for the regeneration of Stockton Town Centre and one that will have a positive impact across the entire Borough.

"We’ve been talking about this day for a number of years and now it’s finally here.

"The demolition of Castlegate Shopping Centre and the Swallow Hotel will transform the look and feel of the High Street and make the most of our town’s riverside setting.“

Demolition of the Swallow Hotel is underway. Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

He added: "Stockton Waterfront will complement all of the changes we’ve made in recent years to make our town centres places where people want to visit for different reasons other than shopping.”

The project is being funded by £20m of Tees Valley Combined Authority funding and £21m from the Government’s £1bn Future High Streets Fund.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “It’s clear that, to survive and thrive, high streets need to think differently to attract people and get them spending in our brilliant businesses.

"This is the first phase of Stockton’s transformation to do just that, bringing the river and town closer together to create a proper leisure space everyone can enjoy.“

The demolition of the existing multi-storey car park is nearly complete. Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees