A beach, Wet ‘n’ Wild, a huge concert hall: your ideas for the Middlehaven Docks website

The council approved plans to transform the doomed snow center site with a new attraction, earlier this week.

However, it has not been decided what it will be and the report suggests that it could be a new venue for concerts or exhibitions or a huge sports venue with indoor and outdoor facilities.

As has yet to be decided, we thought we would ask locals what they would like to see at the Middlehaven Docks.

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Jess Bakewell, 16, and Brooklyn Dixon, 16, both studying childcare at Middlesbrough College, are keen to see a concert hall that can accommodate major performers.

Jess added: “I wish it was a huge concert hall because you have to go to Newcastle or Leeds or Manchester, and you have to travel ages for the good guys.

“I’m going to see JLS in Leeds at the end of October so it would have been nice if they could come close so I didn’t have to go back and forth.”



JLS

Brooklyn also wanted to see a concert hall, but especially a closer one so that she did not have to travel for concerts.

She added: “All the concerts I have attended are in Manchester and you feel tired when you get there.”

Jess agreed that a place nearby was needed, she said: “By the time you get there you just want to come home. And you come home late too, you don’t come home until 11 or 12 hours and you want to go straight to bed.

The other students at the college, Jade Horsman, 16, and Mia Irvine, 16, who study health and social services, also wanted there to be a concert hall.

They were hoping he would host their favorite stars, including popular Manchester rapper Aitch, Bradford-based rap group Bad Boy Chiller Crew, grime star Stormzy and London rapper Dave.

Daniel Stanwick, 33, owner of Hit the Bar in Middlehaven also hopes it will become a cultural venue for music and exhibitions.

He added: “I don’t think we need to push the sport route, with the number of gyms in Teesside and Sports Village on Marton Road.

“The events, the exhibition, the live music space could definitely work because the type of place I have is classified as a destination place.



Hit the bar, Bridge Street, formerly The Bridge Inn
Hit the bar, Bridge Street, formerly The Bridge Inn

“There aren’t really any crossings, it’s all event driven, people aren’t going to walk around Middlesbrough College and the Transporter without something for them.

“It’s good for me as a business and I always say that everything is better than nothing when it comes to abandoned land and dilapidated buildings.”

However, he said there would be pros and cons of the venue as it could impact performance at Riverside, but figured a permanent concert venue would be better.

One group definitely used their imaginations on what they would like to see on the site as 16-year-old Loella Atkinson hoped that a beach area would occupy the land next to the river.

While Luanna Shearey, 16, said: “A wet ‘n’ wild, somewhere with slides and a wave machine.”

And their friend Naomi, 18, added: “A Center Parcs in Middlesbrough!

Middlesbrough College Principal and CEO Zoe Lewis is also happy with a potential venue and said her students could ensure a highly skilled workforce.

She added: “The staff and governors of Middlesbrough College are delighted to see more and more neighbors coming to Middlehaven and calling it home.

“The plot adjacent to the College, initially intended for the development of the snow center, remains perfectly placed to become the future seat of a major sports or leisure attraction that will attract visitors from afar.



What the predicted snow center might have looked like

“The area around the wharf is just magical when bustling with students and football fans, so having another big attraction here makes perfect sense to us.”

However, some see it as an opportunity to reduce crime and keep teens entertained.

Mark Johnson, 32, who is completing a forklift truck course, said: “The area definitely needs more places to go.

“All the kids are running these days, they have nothing to do. It would be nice for them to have a place to go to reduce crime.”

The council is working with Chinese public real estate developer BCEGI, who will make proposals for the site.

It’s unclear when that will be, however, the company only has an exclusivity agreement in place, to prevent others from being able to bid, for up to a year.

Once the plans are approved by the council, the developer will then be able to purchase the land at market rate.

Middlehaven Docks was supposed to house the failing £ 40million snow center, but this failed after council concerns over finances.

This is part of a larger development of the area, which includes 500 houses in St Hilda and the regeneration of the old town hall.

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