ORGANISERS of an innovative fundraising scheme to blow up a landmark chimney say ticket sales are approaching the 4,000 mark.
Hartlepool RNLI and Hartlepool & District Hospice will both benefit when the Steetley chimney at the former chemical works site is demolished.
The prize of pushing the button is being raffled to raise funds for the good causes and people only have a week left to get their hands on a ticket.
Steetley Chimney Blast tickets cost £1 and the structure is scheduled to be demolished on Sunday, July 29.
The hospice has sold about 2,000 while the RNLI have sold more than 1,000 and a further 1,000 tickets are believed to have been sold by other outlets.
Greg Hildreth, events and community facilitator at the hospice, said: “The response from the people of Hartlepool has been fantastic.
“Between the two charities we have sold more than 3,000 and we believe the total is around the 4,000 mark, including the tickets sold in the community.”
Malcolm Wallis, of Hartlepool RNLI, said: “We never cease to be amazed by the generosity of the people of Hartlepool. They always come and support us in force.” The controversial site, plagued by arsonists and trespassers in recent years, is being cleared five years after the Hartlepool Mail launched a campaign to get the area made safe.
Sirius North East has been contracted to clear the site by the land’s owners, Starford Holdings.
Mayor Stuart Drummond, who will draw the winning ticket on Wednesday, July 18, said: “The support from businesses, organisations and individuals in selling tickets has been superb and I’d like to thank them immensely for their help.
“With a week to go before the draw I’m sure there will be a late surge for tickets to boost sales even further.”
A number of businesses are selling tickets until the end of this week including Towers Hairdressers, in Tower Street, The Nursery Inn, in Hopps Street, The Studio, in Tower Street, The Royal, in Church Street, Just Blinds, in York Road, Newcastle Building Society, in York Road, Gillen Arms, in Clavering Road, Three Lions Sports Bar, in Park Road, and Morrisons, in Clarence Road.
Hartlepool Rovers Rugby Club, Seaton Carew Social Club, in Station Lane, the Park Inn, in Park Road and the Cosmopolitan Pub, on the Headland, are also selling tickets.
The hospice reception, in Wells Avenue, as well as hospice shops in Middleton Grange, Northgate, Wynyard Road, Raby Road and Encore, in York Road will be selling tickets until next Tuesday.
The winning ticket holder gets to press the button and also wins an iPad.
Second prize is a sea fishing trip for four adults and six children, third prize is a luxury weekend break for two and fourth prize is a £100 Marks & Spencer voucher. There are plenty of other prizes available.