Planning permission granted for new leisure centre

The development of a new multi-million pound leisure centre in Hartlepool has taken a huge step forward following a decision by councillors to grant planning permission.

Members of Hartlepool Borough Council’s Planning Committee voted unanimously to approve plans for Highlight on The Waterfront, adjacent to the National Museum of the Royal Navy.

The flagship visitor attraction will replace the town’s ageing Mill House Leisure Centre.


A computer-generated image of how Highlight will look

A computer-generated image of how Highlight will look

Councillor Shane Moore, Leader of Hartlepool Borough Council, said: “I am delighted that the Planning Committee has granted planning permission for Highlight and the decision is a significant milestone in our ambitious regeneration plans for the town.

“Funding for the scheme has been in place for some time, but a lot of detailed and painstaking behind-the-scenes work has been required to get us to this point,

“This decision means we are now able to really push on with our plans. The building is going to look amazing and it will house a fantastic range of facilities for people of all ages.”

Councillor Bob Buchan, Chair of the Council’s Adult and Community Based Services Committee, added: “This is great news and I can’t wait for the new leisure centre to begin to take shape.”

Now that planning permission has been granted, the process of appointing a main contractor to build Highlight will begin.

Designed by GT3 Architects in collaboration with the Council’s own in-house expertise, Highlight grows in height from west to east to provide panoramic views of The Waterfront site, marina and sea. Its strong linear lines are inspired by the railway tracks which ran from local timber and coal yards into the former dockland site during the 19th and early 20th centuries

The proposed mix of facilities includes a 25m eight-lane main pool, a 25m four-lane learner pool with movable floor, a leisure pool including a race slide and water play features, spectator seating, changing areas, a 100-station fitness suite, two inter-connected fitness studios, an indoor cycling/spinning studio, active and soft play areas, a café, party rooms, an NHS consultation suite and external ground and first-floor terraces.

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