A BUSINESSMAN has brought jobs and investment to Hartlepool - and urged other entrepreneurs to do the same.
Darab Rezai has opened a bistro called The Conservatory at the Marina and plans to eventually create up to 16 jobs, with 11 already in place.
Today, in a rallying call for businesses to back the Hartlepool Vision and Masterplan proposals, he told the Mail: “There is a golden opportunity here.”
He said the Marina was vibrant and worth investing in, especially as it has designer clothes shops and beauty shops as well as restaurants and cafes.
His new bistro, based in what was formerly the Moorings, has already seen investment of around £100,000 with more to come thanks to proposals for a conservatory and extra seating space.
But Darab, a strong supporter of the Hartlepool Vision proposals, believes other traders should also invest in town.
“I am part of the business regeneration forum group and I believe that it is very exciting in Hartlepool, and the only way we will have success is if everyone supports it.
“I would encourage traders to come in and have a look at the Marina. I can’t believe the footfall here.”
Meanwhile, his own bistro is up and running with head chef Colin Berry in the forefront. Darab said: “I saw an opportunity to convert this from a coffee shop to a contemporary bistro.”
Colin was formerly head chef at Krimo’s where he worked for 15 years, and Darab said: “I thought this was an excellent chance to keep him in the area with a view to training young chefs, to bring on the excellent talent in the area.”
Colin said The Conservatory would offer “contemporary English food” and was sourcing as much as possible from local suppliers such as butchers, greengrocers and fishmongers.
Darab’s hope is to put a conservatory and outside seating which would mean an extra five jobs.
He added: “As a businessman, I believe we have a responsibility to the town and to the area if we get the opportunity to fill some of the units that are available in various parts of the town, and create some jobs and hope for the young people.”
The Hartlepool Vision and Masterplan proposals are part of a campaign to breathe new life and jobs into the town.