On the question of future industry, Liberal Democrat candidate Andy Hagon said raising the profile of Hartlepool and improving education and training will attract more businesses.
He said: "It is about being out there banging your drum, I've got a big drum and will bang it loud. I want to be the Jeff Stelling of politics, make people aware of Hartlepool. It starts with education. We need to be investing in training and upskilling our people."
Conservative Carl Jackson said as a businessman he understands what businesses need to see to invest in a place.
He also said the renewable industry will be big but said Hartlepool can play a major role in decommissiong oil rigs from the North Sea.
He said: "The North Sea oil fields are going to be the first major fields to fully decommission, there are 100 rigs waiting to be broken up, that is a huge opportunity, Hartlepool has a track record for more of these."