A PROMINENT hotel is set for a major £250,000 revamp creating 12 new jobs as part of wider plans to regenerate whole parts of Hartlepool.
Entrepreneur Brian Morton has recently bought the popular Hillcarter Hotel and it is now undergoing a major refurbishment including creating an extra six en-suite bedrooms.
The 26-bedroom hotel is located in Church Street – one of eight areas of the town earmarked by civic leaders in the Hartlepool Vision as the focus of work to breathe new life and attract new jobs into Hartlepool in the coming years.
Mr Morton, a leading Hartlepool businessman who owns several businesses including the Sports Domes and Staincliffe Hotel at Seaton Carew, said the revamp of the Hillcarter Hotel will safeguard existing jobs while also creating 12 new posts.
Mr Morton said he is “excited” by the Hartlepool Vision proposals and was “keen” to play his part in the regeneration of the town - starting with the major revamp of the Hillcarter Hotel.
Town leaders have welcomed the news.
It comes after a recent announcement by real estate company M Seven that they will be investing a seven-figure sum refurbishing the Highlight Retail Park near Hartlepool Marina, creating 50 new jobs in the process.
Mr Morton said: “I’m very excited by the Hartlepool Vision and was keen to buy into it and play my part in the revitalisation of Hartlepool.
“The idea to pedestrianise Church Street is a great idea and I know it has the support of other local businesses.
“As well as the six extra bedrooms, we are creating a new sports lounge in the former Nexus Bar which will be open in time for the World Cup.
“We’ve also completely re-fitted the Hillcarter Lounge where we’ll be providing a range of fresh KIMBO coffees, afternoon teas, bar meals and a cocktail special every
evening between 5pm and 7pm.”
The nightclub Fever, which is located in the basement of the building, is also being given a new lease of life.
Mr Morton has also revealed he has ambitious plans for the Rooftop Restaurant, which boasts a glass roof with views across Hartlepool and beyond.
Mr Morton added: “The Rooftop Restaurant can accommodate up to 100 people and has huge potential.
“As well as catering for weddings and engagement parties, we’re going to introduce cabaret evenings and dinner dances.”
Labour councillor Christopher Akers-Belcher, leader of Hartlepool Council, said: “It is really encouraging that another business has backed the Hartlepool Vision and is prepared to commit a significant amount of investment.
“The Church Square area is a key part of our future vision where we aim to provide a skills quarter providing learning opportunities and accommodation for young people.”
The area is home to Hartlepool College of Education and Hartlepool College of Art and Design, which recently expanded into the Municipal, Leadbitter and Archive buildings, in Church Square.
Hartlepool Council recently brokered a deal to provide additional student accommodation on the former Crown House site involving Housing Hartlepool.
The development on the former Crown House site, in Tower Street, will see 56-students from Cleveland College of Art and Design move into state-of-the-art halls of residence from September this year.
The eight sites included in the Hartlepool Vision are the town centre, Jacksons Landing/Trincomalee Wharf and the marina, Church Street, Seaton Carew, the Headland, Wynyard, the Port and Queens Meadow.
The Vision was launched in January and experts who drew up the proposals predicted it could create 2,000 jobs for a new-look Hartlepool.
Labour councillor Robbie Payne, chairman of the council’s regeneration services committee, added: “This is good news and it is great that one of Hartlepool’s most prominent businessmen is backing the Vision and making this investment in the town at the Hillcarter Hotel.
“This is an exciting venture and I am really pleased for Mr Morton and his staff.”