Hartlepool cabin owners hope to stay - despite soaring rent demand
Cabin owners in Hartlepool are hoping to clinch funding to help them stay on their site for another three years.
At a packed meeting of the Middleton Cabin owners today, members were told how hopes are strong of securing some grants to help meet the rent costs.
The owners were due to leave their cabins, where they have been since 2009, after Hartlepool Borough Council served notice of its intention to terminate a 10-year lease with landowners PD Ports next month - a year early.
The site currently costs £14,000 a year to rent - of which the council has been contributing £10,000, with the 36 cabin holders paying the rest.
However, the council said it can no longer afford the subsidy due to budget pressures, and in a double whammy, PD Ports, which owns the site, looking to charge £17,000 rent next year.
Last week the council told the cabin owners they can stay on the site until April next year if they agree to pay the rent in full.
At today’s meeting in the Hartlepool Smallcrafts Association club, Ron Clark, who is heading the battle for the cabins, said the authority is helping him to apply for several grants, one of which would be for £30,000.
He said: “If we can secure that, it would not only give us a one-year stay of execution, but a three-year stay of execution. I am pretty optimistic.”
Hartlepool MP Mike Hill is supporting the cabin owners, and was at the meeting.
He thanked Ron for all his hard work in fighting to save the cabins.
Mr Hill said: “I would like to say this gentleman has worked his socks off to get to this point.
“I think if you put your shoulder to it you can get that three years, and I will work hard with you to try to get that.”
Also at the meeting supporting the cabin owners were the Headland and Harbour Ward Councillors, Tim Fleming, Mike McLaughlin and Shane Moore.
The cabins originated on another site in the 1950s and were originally used by owners to store fishing and boating equipment.
Over the years, however, they have become more of a social community of like-minded people.