Plans for new Redcar arena scrapped

Plans for a new 5,000-capacity multi-purpose arena in the English town of Redcar have been scrapped after the local council revealed that it “cannot wait any longer” to start regenerating the site on which the venue was proposed for.

It emerged last month that a proposal for the arena had been submitted by Coatham Arena Limited. The venue would have been built on the site of the former Redcar Bowl and Coatham Arena Limited had hoped to open the facility by 2024.

If implemented, the arena development would have required Redcar and Cleveland Council to alter its established Coatham regeneration plans. The council paused development to give Coatham Arena Limited time to develop a robust business case for the project and set out how it would be funded, operated and physically accommodated on the site.

The company submitted information to the council last month. While the council has concluded that the development could bring “significant” economic and social benefits, it feels the project is “not appropriate” on the ex-Coatham Bowl site.

The council highlighted specific concerns regarding whether the arena and associated infrastructure could effectively physically fit on the site and the problems the development may pose in terms of noise, disturbance and visual impact on the surrounding area.

Other concerns regarding the local road network, car parking, the overall cost of delivering the project, the utilisation of public funding, the lack of stakeholder engagement in developing the project, and whether it represents value for money were also raised by the council.

Councillor Chris Gallacher, Cabinet member for Economic Growth, said: “After pausing our original plans for around eight months, we now cannot wait any longer to start regenerating the Coatham seafront area and will press ahead with our original plans.”

He added: “It would be fantastic to see an arena in Redcar but based on the information provided by CAL the council is not satisfied that the proposed site is suitable and that the development as proposed is viable going forward.

“The council will work with CAL to explore the potential of alternative sites in the borough, to try and find a suitable site to deliver an arena in Redcar. Now the council will physically start delivery on site, starting in April 2022 with the 18-hole adventure golf course, children’s play area and public realm improvements.”