A new Hartlepool ‘hub’ for water activities - as well as areas for picnics and walks - could start to be built in little over a year’s time.
Hartlepool Borough Council’s hopes for a waterfront development are progressing and talks are already being held with a company to move them forward.
Development money is in place and the proposals are likely to move to a step closer to reality in 2018, said Hartlepool Borough Council chief executive Gill Alexander.
She told the Hartlepool Mail: “We have got development money lined up to bring to fruition some of the great plans for the waterfront.
“Next year, we will see work starting around creating an events space as well as a new hub for water-based activities on the marina so that people will be able to come to Hartlepool and start using the water.”
The project will be developed in two phases. The first will start in 2018.
We are looking to create space where people will want to come and linger, and walk around and promenadeGill Alexander
“We are looking to create space where people will want to come and linger, and walk around and promenade,” said Gill.
“We are investing in the public realm so that we can use it for events, exhibitions. The National Museum of the Royal Navy may want to bring some exhibitions.
“We are working with a company around establishing a water activity hub where people will be able to get out on to the marina for canoeing or other kinds of activities, so that can be a place where people will come and stay.”
There are places in what we are going to be building for people to come and picnic, or stay awhile, walk around and enjoy the views.”
The second phase of development will be around a feasibility study on a visitor centre for Hartlepool.
It will be a ‘re-imagining’ of what a museum should be like, said Gill.
“It will tell the story of Hartlepool in the region in terms of the past but it will do that in an innovative way in terms of using leading edge technology, so that we can recreate the experience of what the Bombardment might have been like, using visual virtual reality.
“We would also be looking at what the future might be like.”
She said development funding was in place and the council would be “finalising the plan for that next year and finalising the investment package around it.”
Also for the waterfront, the authority would be “looking at the delivery of a hotel option.”
“We need to develop the site in a planned way and we don’t want it to be a chaotic site. We want it to be a really great site where people can come and spend time together.”
Council chiefs are confident that, in the next year, they will be in a position to announce when construction will begin.
“The actual delivery date we are looking at is part of a five-year plan,” she added. “We will probably be looking at the construction starting in 2019 for delivery in 2020 and 2021.”