Major new tourist attraction and music festival planned for Hartlepool

The empty area near Hartlepool Marina.

The empty area near Hartlepool Marina.

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A major new tourist attraction is being proposed for Hartlepool’s waterside in plans revealed to the Mail.

The science-themed venue, which would be similar to the Discovery Centre in Newcastle, could be on the way.

Christopher Akers-Belcher.

Christopher Akers-Belcher.

Its aim would be to provide interactive entertainment for children including a chance to get to play with robotics. It will also hopefully get children to consider a career in science or engineering.

But that’s just one development being looked at by Hartlepool Borough Council.

Bosses also revealed their hopes for a three-day festival to be held in Hartlepool to mark the 30th anniversary of Dock Rock.

Hartlepool Borough Council is considering the event for next summer and it could include a day filled with music as well as other celebrations.

We are really focused on creating a reputation for Hartlepool as being a town that punches above its weight. A town that is a great place to live and a great place to be educated

Gill Alexander, chief executive of Hartlepool Borough Council

The plans are being lined up by council chiefs as one of a string of exciting developments revealed to the Hartlepool Mail for 2016.

Also in the pipeline, the much-vaunted National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN) takeover of the Hartlepool’s Maritime Experience could get into full swing in the next year. It would make the attraction the NMRN of the North.

Chief executive Gill Alexander and leader of the council Christopher Akers-Belcher said discussions on a potential Dock Rock anniversary event are at an early stage which means officials can not go into details.

But a festival to mark 30 years since the musical festival could be held and it could have a double aim - to bring an exciting event to town and to also officially welcome the arrival of the National Museum of the Royal Navy.

Gill Alexander.

Gill Alexander.

“That would be great for the town and would have the ability to attract tourists,” said Coun Akers-Belcher. “We are looking at ways to enhance the heritage offer of the town.

“We are working with big partners around trying to completely recreate the offer on the waterfront.”

One project could be a new science development at Trincomalee Wharf, similar to the Discovery Centre at Newcastle.

Ms Alexander explained: “We are looking at the whole wharf and what we call a STEM centre.”

It would be an interactive building where children would have fun, get involved in robotics, but also learn the skills in science, technology, engineering and maths.

That in turn could lead to them developing careers in those areas which are seen as key to the future of the town.

“We want the place to inspire children into jobs,” she said.

Coun Akers-Belcher said: “We have this ambition around creating jobs for the future and we have identified a gap in opportunities for skilled young people.”

Ms Alexander said her wish for the New Year was for all of Hartlepool to get behind the drive to make the town a thriving one.

She added: “We are really focused on creating a reputation for Hartlepool as being a town that punches above its weight.

“My hope for next year is for everyone to recognise what a great future there is for this town and for all to start telling the same story and help shape a fantastic future.”