Two hotel operators are bidding to open a 4 star hotel as developments continue for the Hartlepool Waterfront site.
Hartlepool Borough Council leader Christopher Akers-Belcher provided an update on plans for the former Jacksons Landing site and surrounding area, which is ‘one of the best sites in the area for a high end hotel’.
Work is to start next month on the public realm improvements at the site which will create a grassed areas, a sculpture trail, boundary seating and new LED lighting.
Coun Akers-Belcher said the council is also waiting to hear back from the Coastal Community Forum on having a permanent events space at the site.
Coun Aker-Belcher said: “The work is a huge boost for the area and the whole of the Tees Valley.
“We’ve got two hotel operators bidding to open at the site, it will be a 4 star hotel.
“There’s a real need for a high end hotel in the area and that is probably one of the best sites we can do that.
“We’re waiting to hear back on the bid for a permanent events space, which would have a whole host of events on offer.
“It’s good news for the whole area and it’s all creating jobs for people.”
The public events space would look to hold activities such as markets and street food festivals, exhibitions, naval displays and music shows.
Work is also ongoing for the ship restoration project for the RML 497, which will be the centerpiece of the £5 million expansion of the National Museum of the Royal Navy in Hartlepool, which will hopefully be completed in 2021.
The vessel, which had been lying in a berth in Southampton, is thought to be one of the ships which would have gone out to rescue Second World War pilots who were lost in the Channel.
Coun Akers-Belcher also said the move will provide a boost to Hartlepool for its role in the Tees Valley UK City of Culture bid for 2025.
He said: “We need to get that infrastructure in place and support anything that will increase tourism for the regeneration of the area.
“There’s a lot of good, positive work going on.”
The plans for the waterfront also include for a water activity centre, which has been developed in partnership with Hartlepool Marina Ltd.
It intends to use former Olympic press cabins and containers to provide reception, marketing and changing facilities, and storage space to create a hub for the expansion of the water-based activities that it currently offers.
There are also plans for a new modern 3D interactive museum for the site which would allow people to relive the First World War Bombardment and link the past to the future.
The Waterfront Masterplan setting out the ambitions for the site last year estimated the proposals would create up to 275 jobs plus a further 430 construction jobs.
The proposed public realm were subject to public consultation during February and March when residents and businesses had the opportunity to comment.
The long-term plan is to develop the Hartlepool Waterfront as a landmark destination with a mix of civic, cultural, leisure and visitor attractions to complement the restaurants, cafes, bars and shops within the wider Hartlepool Marina area.