Hartlepool Development Corporation (HDC) is currently in negotiations for the long lease for the scheme, which is located at the heart of the town’s Development Corporation Zone.
The deal – which is subject to approval from HDC’s board – would give the planning authority control over the centre.
Current plans would see the scheme’s public spaces regenerated, new frontages installed, and the centre opened up to allow uses beyond retail.
The acquisition is set to be part of the town’s wider masterplan, which includes creating 2,000 new jobs, building up to 1,300 new homes, and restoring the town centre and waterfront.
If a deal is reached, Hartlepool Borough Council would retain the freehold for Middleton Grange Shopping Centre, whilst HDC would appoint asset and property managers to oversee the site.
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen, chair of HDC’s board, said: “Middleton Grange shopping centre has been at the centre of Hartlepool for decades – but it’s no secret that it needs some TLC.
“This is a great opportunity to reposition the centre and make it a thriving location for the brilliant local businesses already based there, while attracting new stores to the town and helping local people make more use of it.
“We’ve got huge, transformational plans for Hartlepool and Middleton Grange is a big piece of the puzzle. If the takeover is approved, it will pave the way for a joined-up, future-proofed and reinvigorated town centre that people want to spent time in – supporting jobs, boosting the economy and making our region an even better place to live.”
Councillor Mike Young, leader of Hartlepool Borough Council, said the purchase of Middleton Grange Shopping Centre is a “key step” in the regeneration of Hartlepool.