Update on planned new 5,000 seat arena for Redcar

The site of the former Coatham Bowl in Redcar, pictured in 2022
The site of the former Coatham Bowl in Redcar, pictured in 2022 -Credit:Teessidelive

Redcar and Cleveland Council has confirmed a long-term lease has been granted on land at Coatham intended for a new arena project.

A broad heads of terms agreement was previously reached at the end of last year between the local authority and Coatham Arena Limited (CAL), a consortium of local businessmen which is behind the proposal. At the time it was said the project was intended to be privately funded with the council receiving an annual rent payment, business rates and car parking income.

Council leader Alec Brown said: “The lease option has been agreed by both sides. The ball is now with the intended developer - the council has done its part.”

The local authority has been engaged in lengthy discussions during the past ten months over the project to build a new 5,000 seat indoor facility on the site of the now demolished Coatham Bowl venue. Cllr Brown added: “We have had to protect the public purse in terms of liabilities and ensure a robust business case is in place. It’s up to the arena company to get planning successfully now, the ball is in their court.”

The council leader said the rent payable by the lease holders would be in line with any turnover generated by the scheme and aimed at providing “best value” for the authority. The project had looked in doubt when a business case was previously rejected with the council suggesting alternative potential venues elsewhere in the borough.

Elements were also criticised by members of an independent group which formed part of the previous administration on the council which said it had “serious concerns” about the location and claimed the arena could “dwarf” surrounding homes in Newcomen Terrace and Queen Street. Some local residents have also expressed concern, although supporters believe it will help to further regenerate the area and create jobs and investment.

In December in a statement provided to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, a spokesman said CAL was “anxious to be a good neighbour” and had committed to spending £75,000 on a public consultation exercise prior to the submission of a planning application. He said: “Our negotiations with the local authority have been extremely detailed and thorough, addressing a great many matters which will continue to be reviewed as we move forward.”

Its chairman Frankie Wales also said the arena could potentially open in 2028. Posting on social media, Coatham ward councillor Carl Quartermain, the cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “After months of negotiations both sides have sealed the deal. Next up, a planning application. Big thanks all involved, let’s bring this vision to life.”

The former Coatham Bowl, whose capacity was around 900 people, once played host in its heyday to the likes of Chris Rea, Whitesnake, Slade and Ozzy Osbourne, but was demolished in 2014.

For breaking news in your area direct to your inbox every day, go here to sign up to our free newsletter