An investment that will guarantee the future of The Regent cinema in Redcar, create a new hotel and leisure-based facilities and support local projects across the borough has been unveiled.
The £30 million pot will support the ‘Revitalising Redcar’ project and deliver an ‘Indigenous Growth Programme’ to boost business support schemes across the borough, including a bid to rejuvenate Loftus High Street.
The ‘Revitalising Redcar’ strategy will secure the future of the town’s much-loved Regent Cinema on the seafront which had to be closed for safety reasons last April. The building was closed after structural and building surveys and many aspects of the fabric of the building have deteriorated including the roof and external walls. It is proposed that a cinema is delivered on the current site.
The proposals will also include the development of the Coatham area, initially on the site of the old Redcar Bowl Leisure Centre. The first phase would include a 40-bed hotel, indoor leisure-based facilities, landscaping and a car park. Further leisure-based development would be brought forward as a second phase.
Other funding will be used to support a bid for the Government’s Future High Street Fund to revitalise Loftus High Street. Over the next five years it will also deliver a range of projects including:
- Supporting businesses to take on more apprentices and developing training facilities.
- Extending the ‘High Street Support Schemes’ currently available in Eston, Saltburn, Guisborough, Redcar and Loftus right across the borough. The scheme will enable the Council to offer capital grants to businesses who want to set up new or expanded premises, improve their shop fronts, deal with security issues or provide visitor accommodation in our smaller high streets and parades of shops serving local needs.
- Making further investment in some of our key industrial sites.
- Making funds available to ensure that Guisborough Town Hall is revitalised as a key point for visitors and make other improvements to visitor infrastructure along the coast. The long-term community-led project Guisborough Town Hall Gateway Project to improve the Grade II-listed Town Hall as a tourist information and heritage centre has previously attracted National Heritage Lottery Fund funding.
Councillor Sue Jeffrey, Leader of the Council, said: “These are enormously exciting plans. We promised we would secure the future of The Regent – and now we’re going to deliver. We promised we would attract investment in Coatham and improve our tourism and leisure offer across the borough – and we’re delivering on that too. I would like to say a big thank you to residents who have been so patient with us while we have been working to make this announcement. I hope we are now going to be able to move quickly to bring back our cinema and get building on the Coatham site.
“We have a thriving tourism economy and have seen visitor numbers rise again this year but we need more overnight accommodation so that people stay longer in our borough.
“I am delighted to confirm that we will also be putting Loftus forward for funding from the Future High Streets programme. We are already investing in the town and working with residents to revitalise the centre, if we secure cash from this fund it will be a great boost to that work.”
Councillor Bob Norton, Cabinet Member for Economic Growth, said: “These plans have taken a lot of hard work from a lot of people to develop and there’s a lot more to do. But it’s a big step to make sure our borough remains a fantastic place to live, work and do business for generations to come.”
Councillor Carl Quartermain, Cabinet Member for Culture, Tourism & Communications, said: “This plan for The Regent is the best option and will ensure we can provide cinema entertainment fit for the 21st Century while still having the kind of unique, cinema experience we all love in Redcar.
“Creating the hotel and leisure facilities at Coatham have been long term ambitions and vital to our commitment to grow our economy and the culture and tourism offer in Redcar and across the borough. Visitor numbers have doubled over the past four years and this development will bring confidence to organisers and businesses that Redcar is open to investment and able to accommodate national events and new attractions.”
The outline proposals will be discussed at Cabinet on Tuesday 5 March. More detailed reports will be published in the coming months.
• Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council owns The Regent building and is the landlord – the cinema was run as an independent business
• The £30m is from the Tees Valley Combined Authority Investment Plan agreed in January and is in addition to the funding provided by the Council in 2018 for Area Growth Plans
• Cllr Sue Jeffrey has recently written to Jake Berry MP, Minister for the Northern Power House and Local Growth setting out the Council’s interest in the Future High Streets fund and our vision to develop a scheme that will benefit both Loftus and surrounding communities.