Plan to replace Hartlepool's Mill House Leisure Centre with new flagship attraction on former Jackson's Landing site

Councillors are being urged to replace Hartlepool’s Mill House sports centre with a new flagship leisure attraction on the former Jackson’s Landing site.

Friday, 24th January 2020, 4:09 pm
Updated Friday, 24th January 2020, 5:07 pm
Mill House Leisure Centre in Raby Road.

The proposal is one of a number recommendations as part of a multi-million pound investment in the town’s leisure facilities by Hartlepool Borough Council.

It is proposed to demolish the ageing Mill House Leisure Centre on Raby Road and create the new replacement development on the council’s Waterfront site including three swimming pools, a health suite, fitness studios, gym, family play facility, cafe/refreshments area and function rooms.

Councillors will also be asked to give the go-ahead to investment and improvements to Brierton Sports Centre, Headland Sports Hall, Grayfields Recreation Ground and Pavilion, and Hartlepool Indoor Bowls Club.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The new 'linear park' at the Waterfront site at Hartlepool marina.

Councillor Shane Moore, Leader of the Council and Chair of the Finance and Policy Committee, said: “These proposed schemes represent one of the biggest investments in the town in recent times and, if approved, their impact on the lives of local people will be profound.

“They will provide us with modern, high-quality leisure venues and facilities fit for the 21st Century that will bring with them a range of health, social, environmental and economic benefits.”

Coun Moore said the proposals are not ‘pipe dreams’ and that funding is in place.

“Residents will start to see improvements to facilities as early as next year and if councillors give their approval we are confident that we can have the new Waterfront development open in 2024,” he added.

New paving, seating and lighting has been installed around the edge of the Waterfront site.

It is hoped the replacement to Mill House Leisure Centre on the Waterfront site would attract visitors from both in and out of town as well as tourists.

A council report states: “This option provides the opportunity to develop a bespoke leisure attraction that is centrally located and offers unique additionality in terms of opportunities for wider integration and access to other services and attractions.

“The construction of a new facility on this site could be achieved without any disruption to existing leisure operations and the existing Mill House Leisure Centre would be able to operate until the new development was operational.”

Other options the council has looked at are to refurbish the existing Mill House centre and to integrate leisure facilities into a redeveloped Mill House Stand at Victoria Park.

Phase One of the council’s redevelopment of the former Jackson’s Landing site is now complete with the creation of a new ‘linear park’ around the edge of the site.

New paving, seating, lighting and planting have been installed understood to have cost £1.4 million.

Other proposals to be considered by the Finance and Policy Committee on Thursday, January 30, which will be subject to further public consultation and development, include:

Brierton Sports Centre

The centre would be re-branded as Brierton Sports Complex with a focus on outdoor facilities, including improvements to the tennis courts and the installation of floodlighting.

Around two acres of surplus land would be sold for development, with the proceeds being used to fund some of the redevelopment costs.

Headland Sports Hall

It is proposed to sub-divide the existing sports hall to increase community use and enable the facility to break-even or make a profit.

Hartlepool Indoor Bowls Club

The council says the estimated cost of building a new stand-alone facility means it is not a viable option. It is proposed to improve the existing building which opened in 1972, and agree a new lease with Hartlepool Indoor Bowls Association.

Grayfields Recreation Ground and Pavilion

It is proposed to improve the site and reinstate the artificial grass pitch before advertising the opportunity for a community asset transfer to an external organisation.