TICKET sales for an innovative fundraising drive to blow up a landmark chimney have stormed past the landmark 1,000 figure.
The Steetley chimney, which is visible towering over the Hartlepool skyline, is set to be demolished as part of the ongoing work to clear the former chemical works site.
The prize of pushing the button is being raffled off in a bid to raise funds for Hartlepool RNLI and Hartlepool & District Hospice.
So far around 1,500 tickets have been sold by representatives from the two charities.
Steetley Chimney Blast tickets cost £1 and the structure is scheduled to be demolished on Sunday, July 29.
Greg Hildreth, events and community facilitator at Hartlepool & District Hospice, said: “At the hospice, we are delighted with the progress of the raffle to date and the momentum it is gaining.
“A big thank you to everyone who has helped by buying or selling the tickets to support two very worthwhile causes.
“Thanks also to Sirius, the Hartlepool Mail, Hartlepool Borough Council and all of the prize donors for their support.
“When the chimney does come down, it will be a historic day for the town, made all the more important by the fact that it will have raised a fantastic amount of money for our local hospice and the RNLI.”
The controversial site, plagued by arsonists and trespassers in recent years, is being cleared five years after the Mail launched a campaign to get the area made safe.
Hartlepool Mayor Stuart Drummond will draw the winning ticket on Wednesday, July 18.
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 and third prize is a luxury weekend break for two.
Fourth prize is a £100 Marks & Spencer voucher and there is plenty of other prizes available.
Sirius North East has been contracted to clear the Steetley site by the land’s owners, Starford Holdings.
A number of town businesses are selling tickets including Towers Hairdressers, in Tower Street, The Nursery Inn, in Hopps Street, the hospice reception, in Wells Avenue, The Studio, in Tower Street, hospice shops at Middleton Grange, Northgate, Wynyard Road, Raby Road and Encore, in York Road.
Tickets are also on sale at 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 The Park Inn, also in Park Road and Morrisons in Clarence Road.
They will also be on sale at the Borough Hall and Town Square, on the Headland, on Saturday, July 7.
Any business interested in selling raffle tickets should call the hospice on (01429) 855529.