Name unveiled for Hartlepool marina's new multi-million pound leisure centre

Hartlepool’s new multi-million pound leisure centre will be called Highlight after a competition which attracted hundreds of entries.

Thursday, 18th March 2021, 3:29 pm
Left to right: Competition judging panel members Denise McGuckin, Gemma Ptak, Councillor Shane Moore and Umer Khan.
Left to right: Competition judging panel members Denise McGuckin, Gemma Ptak, Councillor Shane Moore and Umer Khan.

Hartlepool Borough Council plans to create a ‘must visit’ destination on The Waterfront site at the marina which will replace the Mill House Leisure Centre.

The name was selected by a judging panel following a competition which attracted around 500 entries.

Council leader Councillor Shane Moore, who was also chair of the judging panel, said: “We feel that the name is particularly aspirational and reflects our exciting plans for the building and The Waterfront area as a whole.

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“In fact, the definition of the word ‘highlight’ – to make or try to make people notice or be aware of something; to direct attention to something; to be a very interesting, exciting or important part of something – sums up perfectly what we are trying to achieve.

“We envisage the building being more than just a leisure centre – it will be a must-visit destination, a community venue offering a range of opportunities and activities for people from the town and further afield.”

The council said a large number of entries suggested naming the new leisure centre after a particular individual, with strong support for former Team GB Paralympic swimmer Kevin Walsh and footballer Billy Stubbs.

Cllr Moore added: “All of the individuals are, quite rightly, held in very high regard and going forward we intend to explore how we might be able to recognise significant achievement within and around the new building.”

The chosen name is also a nod to the Seaton Highlight feature on the site which once served as a maritime navigational aid and is now a memorial to those who have lost their lives at sea.

As the word waterfront was also suggested by a number of people, the judging panel agreed that the branding concept On the Waterfront should be used in relation to the new leisure centre and, potentially, other attractions in the surrounding area.

The panel also included council managing director Denise McGuckin, assistant director (Preventative and Community Based Services) Gemma Ptak, Hartlepool Sports Council Chair Keith Thomas and Member of the Youth Parliament for Hartlepool Umer Khan.

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