'We have learned lessons from 2010 Tall Ships' says Hartlepool council chief

Hartlepool’s council leader says they will not repeat mistakes of hosting the Tall Ships back in 2010 when the international event returns to the town in 2023.

Saturday, 6th March 2021, 7:00 am
Royal Navy vessel HMS Example and Hartlepool's own tall ship Black Diamond performed a sail past in Jackson dock as it was announced the town will be a host port for the world famous Tall Ships Races in the summer of 2023.

Councillor Shane Moore said the local authority has learned lessons from previous criticism as it was announced Hartlepool had been chosen to be a host port for the event in two years.

It was estimated the event in 2010 created £26.5m but there was criticism that many of the event vendors were not local.

And Hartlepool Borough Council was left with an unexpected shortfall of £720,000 which was blamed on a drop in expected revenue from park and ride schemes and disappointing sales of official merchandise.

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Allan Henderson, director of Hartlepool Marina Ltd.

Cllr Moore said: “We’ve learned from those mistakes and know where not to spend excessive money.

"Thankfully, Ben Houchen and the combined authority has provided the funding for us this time around (£2 million) so we know to keep it within the cost envelope allotted.”

He added they want to make sure that local food and business vendors are given first consideration and said that the council will liaise with other businesses ahead of the event.

"We want to make sure the local economy really benefits from the additional visitors and hopefully repeat visitors as much as possible,” added Cllr Moore.

Allan Henderson, director of Hartlepool Marina Ltd, who was involved in the 2010 event, said the redevelopment of the Hartlepool Waterfront site will add to a much better environment for hosting the ships compared to last time.

He said: “In terms of venue this is arguably one of the best in Europe. Everything’s within a small site area.

“You’re up close to the ships. You’ll see the crews having their meals, the crews doing their day to day maintenance and a lot of the ships will be open for a look round.”

Allan said he hoped the event may return after the spectacle of 2010 but did not really expect it.

He said the marina was ready to welcome the ships saying: “It’s what we do every day just with more ships and more people.”

Captain Paul Brooks, PD Ports Harbour Master, added: “We feel the event will provide a very valuable boost to the region and we look forward to being part of the partnership team delivering a successful event.”

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