Visitor attraction feasibility study, Hartlepool

Visitor attraction options appraisalPlanning Solutions Consulting was commissioned by Hartlepool Borough Council to carry out a feasibility study for a visitor attraction at the Waterfront.

The regeneration of Hartlepool is established as a key strategic priority of the council with the aim of bringing wealth creation and employment opportunities to the area. Developing the tourism market and the visitor attraction sector is a fundamental aspect of this coastal regeneration programme.

The Waterfront site is a prominent site of just under 5 acres in size on Hartlepool’s waterfront. It is located in close proximity to the Hartlepool branch of the National Museum of the Royal Navy. The site also lies opposite Hartlepool Marina which is the largest and most commercially successful facility of its kind in the North East of England.

The visitor attraction feasibility study specifically analysed the commercial viability, feasibility and business modelling of providing a visitor attraction. The visitor attraction feasibility study identified:

  • The category of attraction which could be introduced along with the scale and form
  • The visitor experience in terms of catering, retail, interpretation, exhibition and gallery spaces, visitor flows and back of house facilities
  • The extent to which the visitor attraction would provide destination appeal
  • Partnership working opportunities
  • Forecast visitor numbers
  • Financial viability
  • Potential funding opportunities

This was based on carrying out a market demand assessment and review of the competitive landscape to help identify any gaps in the marketplace, along with an extensive programme of consultation. We also benchmarked a number of different visitor attraction operations.

Using our sister company’s experience of managing visitor attractions, we provided a robust understanding of operational considerations particularly in terms of staff, operating costs and revenue centres. It was important to understand how the proposed visitor attraction would:

  • Align and deliver against regeneration ambitions
  • Improve the visitor experience in Hartlepool linking into Visit Britain, regional and local tourism objectives
  • Provide a year-round visitor attraction for residents and visitors

How can we help?
If you have any questions or would like to discuss our work please don’t hesitate to call Richard Linington on 023 9248 1999 or email