Hartlepool Tall Ships Races 2023: Councillor calls for local businesses to be given discount on trading fees

A councillor is calling on Tall Ships Races bosses to give local traders and vendors a discount to be part of this summer’s event.
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Cllr Jonathan Brash has hit out at the fees provided by organisers to businesses for the four-day event in July at Hartlepool Marina, which is expected to draw thousands of visitors from far and wide.

The fees range from £350 for a market stall to £2,800 for a catering unit. A charity wishing to have a stand would be charged £150.

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Cllr Brash is calling on council bosses for town-based businesses to be given a discount and for charity fees to be dropped.

Councillor Jonathan Brash and class A tall ship Dar-Mlodziezy which will be part of the Hartlepool Tall Ships Races 2023.Councillor Jonathan Brash and class A tall ship Dar-Mlodziezy which will be part of the Hartlepool Tall Ships Races 2023.
Councillor Jonathan Brash and class A tall ship Dar-Mlodziezy which will be part of the Hartlepool Tall Ships Races 2023.

He said: “The Tall Ships is a fantastic opportunity for Hartlepool and I know an enormous amount of good work is going into the preparations, but on these fees I really think they’ve got it wrong.

"We need to put Hartlepool first and give local businesses the competitive advantage to protect local jobs and livelihoods.

"As for charities, they should have their fees waived altogether.”

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Thousands of people at Hartlepool marina during 2010's Tall Ships Races in Hartlepool.Thousands of people at Hartlepool marina during 2010's Tall Ships Races in Hartlepool.
Thousands of people at Hartlepool marina during 2010's Tall Ships Races in Hartlepool.
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Cllr Brash says discounted fees were considered but that the council felt there was a risk non-Hartlepool based traders would go elsewhere.

But he said: “This simply does not wash as an argument.”

Cllr Brash, who has written to Hartlepool Borough Council leader Cllr Shane Moore, said some businesses have talked about closing as a result.

The council says it has actively targeted local businesses and they will be given priority when applications are assessed.

Hartlepool councillor Jonathan Brash said "we need to put Hartlepool first" when it comes to businesses wanting to trade at this year's Tall Ships Races.Hartlepool councillor Jonathan Brash said "we need to put Hartlepool first" when it comes to businesses wanting to trade at this year's Tall Ships Races.
Hartlepool councillor Jonathan Brash said "we need to put Hartlepool first" when it comes to businesses wanting to trade at this year's Tall Ships Races.

A spokesperson for Hartlepool Borough Council and The Tall Ships Races Hartlepool 2023 said: “With hundreds of thousands of visitors expected over four days, this prestigious, world famous free event will provide a huge boost to the local economy.

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"That is why we have taken tangible, positive steps to ensure that Hartlepool businesses of all sizes are best placed to share in the benefits.

“We have directly targeted Hartlepool businesses to ensure that as many as possible are aware of the amazing opportunities that exist, and they have had advance warning of the opening of applications for trade, exhibition and concession pitches so that they can be amongst the first to apply.

“Hartlepool businesses will also benefit from priority consideration during the application assessment process, subject to them satisfying the standard criteria around issues such as insurance.”