Cleveland College of Art & Design (CCAD) or Government School of Art as it was then called was first opened in Church Street Atheneum, Hartlepool in 1874. In 1897, it moved to the top floor of Lauder Street Technical College where it remained until moving in 1939 to the vacated Church Square School, which was completely destroyed by fire in 1966.

The College remained there until the building was completely destroyed by fire in 1966. The new College of Art and Design opened on the same Church Square site in 1968 where it remains to this day – a true School of Art in every sense of the word.

The name ‘Hartlepool’ was derived from ‘harts’ (deers or stags), which are symbolised throughout the town and ‘le pool’ which means by the sea.

Offering a unique, culturally rich experience, Hartlepool offers such contrasts in the landscapes – from seascapes to industry – it is a place so steeped in creative opportunity that we can track back to the first Mayor of (West) Hartlepool in 1887 being a successful draper.

Hartlepool, as a town, has changed dramatically over the last 140 years, but one thing has remained integral throughout this time– its art school. The resilience and robustness of the institution on its journey through changing trends, economies and distinctive art practices is instilled in all learners as they embark on their creative journey from scholar to creative industry professional.

We are so immensely proud of our surroundings that we have used striking images of them throughout this website to show you exactly what the area has to offer creatives.