Rebuilt Hartlepool United ground could be 15,000-seater stadium
Hartlepool council and football club leaders have pledged to work together to modernise the ground and regenerate the Mill House area to ensure the club’s future.
Club chairman Raj Singh and Hartlepool Borough Council’s top leaders signed a memorandum of understanding on Friday to kickstart a long-term project for Victoria Park and the surrounding area.
Together they will draw up plans to redevelop the ageing ground and how to replace the Mill House Leisure Centre after its demolition and a new multi-million pound leisure centre built on the Waterfront marina site.
Conferencing, hospitality, health, and training and educational facilities that complement the football ground and could make money all week will be explored.
Denise McGuckin managing director of Hartlepool Borough Council, said: "All options are on the table.”
And Victoria Park could be increased in capacity over time to a 15,000 seat stadium, said Mr Singh.
He said they are looking to follow clubs like York and Barnet which have leisure and community facilities as part of their stadiums.
Mr Singh said: “It would all be under one hub and you’ve got money coming in the rest of the week not just on match days.
“This is the first step of the next few steps I would like to think and it’s an important step that we’ve got this memorandum of understanding signed today.”
He said the plans were “paramount” for making the club sustainable after it nearly folded in 2018 before Mr Singh stepped in.
Council leader Councillor Shane Moore said: “It’s really its about bringing the stadium back up to date and making sure it is the heart of the town and a community asset.
“At the same time we need to ensure that the club itself has income being generated every day of the week and not just every fortnight and it’s getting it back on that financial footing so we never see ourselves back where it was a few years ago.”
He and Ms McGuckin said residents could be confident the plans will happen despite previous masterplans for the area not coming to fruition.
Cllr Moore said the council and club have a very good relationship built on the shared vision and Ms McGuckin pointed to the town’s recent £25 million Town Fund success.