Ambitious plans for Hartlepool’s first-ever ice rink unveiled

Brian Morton at the Sportsdome site.
Brian Morton at the Sportsdome site.

HARTLEPOOL could be set for a jobs boost after ambitious plans for the town’s first-ever ice rink were submitted to council chiefs.

Hartlepool Borough Council yesterday received plans from town entrepeneur Brian Morton to construct a state-of-the-art rink at The Sports Domes, in Seaton Carew.

If the plans are approved, around 150 jobs could be created.

The ice rink would be built alongside the two existing domes which currently house golf and football facilities, and will include a 1,200-seater auditorium.

As well as the year-round ice rink, the venue would also be equipped to stage events like concerts, boxing bouts, dance competitions and business conferences.

A total of 28 full-time jobs will be created along with 16 part-time roles, while up to 60 temporary postions will be created to work at any events taking place at the venue.

On top of that, up to 40 staff will be taken on to help construct the ice dome subject to the plans being backed by the council.

The Sports Domes have proved to be a huge success since opening in February this year, and Mr Morton says the ice rink plan will take the venue to the next level.

Mr Morton said: “We have always been very ambitious for The Sports Domes and establish it as a national brand.

“The success of the Hartlepool Sports Domes since opening in February has given us great confidence to press ahead with plans for the ice-rink.

“We want to give the people of Hartlepool a venue that is far more than an ice rink, it can also be used for sporting events and competitions.”

Since the closure of Durham ice rink in the 1990s the nearest similar venues are at The Forum, in Billingham, and at Whitley Bay.

As well as the golf and football domes, the site off Tees Road also houses a gym which boasts 2,000 members as well as a restaurant and function room.

If the ice rink plans are given the green light by planning officers, it will be constructed behind the fitness suite.

Mr Morton added: “We are very excited about the development of the ice rink and are confident that we can secure planning permission.

“A venue of this size and quality is something the people of Hartlepool have been asking about for a long time, so we hope to start building as soon as permission is granted.”

A Hartlepool Council spokesman said: “quote to follow”