Latest redevelopment talks between Hartlepool United and council 'go well'
Council chiefs said meetings have gone well with Hartlepool United Football Club over working together to develop the area around The Suit Direct Stadium.
Hartlepool Borough Council’s finance and policy committee this week highlighted the area around Mill House Leisure Centre and The Suit Direct Stadium as a key development site in its town centre masterplan.
Council bosses said they recently had a second meeting with the football club, after a memorandum of understanding was signed by both sides in June, looking at redeveloping the stadium and surrounding land.
Cllr Shane Moore, Hartlepool Borough Council leader, said: “The meeting did go well with Hartlepool United, there is a desire from both sides to progress.
“We do have a timeframe and we’re meeting with them again in the new year to thrash things out more.
“It needs to be done in partnership. We need to make sure we’re doing right by residents as well.”
He added the last thing they want is a “derelict site” at the current Mill House Leisure Centre, with work progressing on the new Highlight site.
Denise McGuckin, council managing director, said it is important that what is proposed for the area is needed.
She added Pools continuing their success on the pitch will further benefit the plans and the football club.
She said: “That then brings in more revenue, more people come, and that prepares them financially. They are doing extremely well.”
Pools chairman Raj Singh said progress is “back on track” after a meeting with the council in recent weeks, adding “it’s time for action”.
Speaking to the club’s YouTube channel, he said: “Deadlines are being put down where we’ve got to reach certain targets and certain work has got to be done by those deadlines.
“Hopefully we’ll stick to them and make some real progress.
“It’s very exciting for the football club and for myself, but I think we’ve just got to be careful, fans have heard it all before, so I’m always trying to manage people’s expectations. The new year will tell where we’re going to be.”