Car boot plans

THE car park of a popular tourist attraction could be the venue for a new weekly car boot sale if plans are approved.

Hartlepool Borough Council is planning on allowing a third of the car park at Hartlepool’s Maritime Experience (HME) for the new venture in a bid to generate income.

Nobles Promotions, believed to be the region’s biggest organiser of car boot events, have made an offer to host the weekly event every Saturday between 8am and 1pm.

If the plans are agreed then it would be on a trial basis for a year and would probably run between March and December.

The idea dates back to a car boot sale held in September last year at the HME site.

Officers said it was a small event, but showed potential.

Further council-run events were held in March and April, but were not successful and officers have put that down to not having the budget to carry out a mass advertising campaign.

Now they are looking to maximise income by offering the site to a private car boot event organiser, which is where Nobles Promotions come in.

Independent councillor Cath Hill, portfolio holder for children’s and community services, is due chair a meeting to discuss the plan next week.

A report by John Mennear, assistant director of community services, said: “Nobles Promotions Ltd visited the site, were very impressed and made an offer to run a weekly car boot event on the site for a proposed fee.

“The car boot event would take up approximately a third of the HME car park, thus leaving adequate parking space for Museum of Hartlepool and HME customers.

“Because this is an outdoor event, it was indicated that the car boot event would close in the winter months – it would end just before Christmas and begin again in March.

“As part of their offer they will undertake all marketing and press activity; fully staff the site and provide infrastructure.”

The council’s public protection team raised concerns over the distance between the proposed car boot sale and the town centre market.

But officers say the Mayfair Centre, at Seaton Carew, currently runs a weekly car boot sale that was agreed to by public protection officials.

Nobles Promotions, who would provide marketing, staffing and other infrastructure, would charge an entry fee to the sellers.

Income from the venture would go into the HME budget to help safeguard the site and staff jobs.

The portfolio meeting is due to take place on Tuesday, July 10, at 10am at the Civic Centre.