Headland paddling pool to open for longer in the summer under pilot after vote by Hartlepool councillors
Families will be able to make more use of a much-loved leisure facility when a pilot launches to keep it open longer.
The paddling pool in the Headland is located on the lower promenade and consists of a small pool with stepping stones.
It currently opens for six weeks a year, to coincide with the summer school holidays.
But councillors on Hartlepool Borough Council Neighbourhood Services Committee have now unanimously approved opening the Headland Paddling Pool as a pilot for an extra nine days during the half term school holidays in May 2020.
This means it will now be open from Saturday, May 23, until Sunday, May 31.
It was also agreed by councillors a review of the pilot would come back to the committee to consider its success.
Council chiefs added it is anticipated the £4,000 additional cost of extending the opening times on a trial basis can be met from existing budgets.
However councillors also called for extending the opening of the town’s other water play area in Seaton.
Seaton water play area opened in 2018 and includes pressure pads spraying jets of water into the air for children to play in, and is open from May 1 until September 30.
Coun Marjorie James called for it to remain open until the end of October to include the half term at the end of the month.
She said: “The car parking changes take place on October 31 which means the half term in the October is still available.
“October is normally a midlish month and it would bring it in line with the closure of the car parking.
“I would certainly support having October included in the Seaton offer and close it after half term, so the kids can use it during the half term in October.”
Council officers agreed to look at the costs and requirements of the extended opening and report back to a future neighbourhood services committee as soon as possible on the possibility following a consultation.
The review will also include looking at the potential for the Headland paddling pool to be open at weekends in between the newly added Whit week in May and the existing summer holiday opening.
Coun Christopher Akers-Belcher said: “If we have the paddling pool at the Headland open for Whit and we have all the water area open at Seaton all the way through, I know what will happen.
“If it is successful at the Headland what they’ll say is can we have it open every weekend from Whit.”
The paddling pool counts among its supporters council leader Shane Moore, who represents the area.