A CONTROVERSIAL tourist attraction is proving its critics wrong after welcoming almost 30,000 visitors in its first two weeks.

The Redcar Beacon offers people the chance to enjoy a 360 degree view of the town from its open roof terrace.

Visitors can take in Teesside’s industrial heritage as well as the new wind farm being built, as well as Huntcliffe to the east.

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Councillor Mark Hannon, Redcar and Cleveland Council’s cabinet member for economic development, said: "For every pound spent on the Beacon we will see a return to the local economy.

"Creating just 100 jobs would generate £37m over ten years and that’s without construction jobs, purchase of local materials and more visitors spending money here.”

When the council unveiled plans for the Beacon there was a public outcry about the cost and practicality of the building.

Councillor Olwyn Peters, cabinet member for culture, leisure and tourism said: “We are proud to have welcomed so many visitors to the Redcar Beacon in its first two weeks, all keen to take in the fantastic views from the town’s latest landmark that is injecting new life into the town.”

This free visitor attraction, at the heart of the seafront, is open from 9am to 7pm, seven-days-a-week. It is closed Christmas and New Year's Day.