Why popular Hartlepool venue could close for up to a year

A popular Hartlepool venue could be set to close for a year as part of plans to renovate the site.

The iconic Borough Hall located on the Headland is in line to be renovated as part of a £3million investment scheme.

Gemma Ptak, Hartlepool Borough Council’s assistant director for preventative and community based services, said the plan is for the venue to close at the end of this year to allow the refurbishments.

Hartlepool's Borough Hall could close for up to a year.

She said: “It is anticipated that the Borough Hall will close at the end of 2022,.

"We’re just working through exact dates and we won’t get to a place of doing that until we’re further into the programme.

“We anticipate that it will be about a 12-month programme of work and we have got things in place already where we have regular hirers and we’re managing how we would accommodate them at other venues.”

She added there are hopes some key Tall Ships events could be hosted by the venue in summer 2023 although it would not be fully open at that point.

Ms Ptak said: “We’re hoping that certain works within the auditorium will have been concluded so that the captain’s dinner can still be hosted there.”

The update came at Monday’s council finance and policy committee meeting.

Council leader Councillor Shane Moore said it was disappointing it had taken so long for works to begin but this couldn’t be helped due to the pandemic.

He said: “Both as a local lad and someone who represents the area, it’s lovely to see such a fantastic community asset and building being animated again.

“I do genuinely hope that the additional investment will go a long way to reanimating that space for many years to come.”

He added it was “lovely” to see the venue being “used and enjoyed” over the past 12 months for events such as pantomimes and comedy clubs.

Cllr Brenda Harrison also welcomed the work, noting the site is a “fantastic facility” and her “favourite venue of all time”.

Along with £1.2million through the council’s capital investment programme, £1.8million in funding will come from HM Treasury and Arts Council England.

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