THE restoration of a historic Hartlepool landmark has taken a major step forward with the appointment of local company Seymour Civil Engineering as Principal Contractor.

The amphitheatre - known locally as “The Bandstand” - is on the promenade, next to the Heugh Battery Museum.

Photographs dating back to the early 1900s indicate it was used for a range of public events, community celebrations and entertainment with terraced seating built in to the retaining wall, a Victorian bandstand and a café.

Following Hartlepool Borough Council’s previous decision to postpone on-site works for six months to protect seabirds which feed nearby, construction work on the amphitheatre site is now due to start next month and is expected to be completed by autumn.

Councillor Shane Moore, Leader of the Council, said: “I’m delighted that we are now in a position to proceed. It is also great news that we have a local company of the calibre of Seymour Civil Engineering leading the project to bring this important landmark back to life.”

As part of the restoration, a new retaining wall is to be built to the rear of the site and the existing stepped seats are to be replaced. A feature paved area is also to be installed to create an events space. The site will also feature areas of soft landscaping.

Once complete, the amphitheatre will accommodate around 500 spectators.

The announcement of Seymour Civil Engineering as Principal Contractor follows a tender process. The company has previously worked on the restoration of Church Street/Church Square and The Waterfront phase one public realm works.

Managing Director Adam Harker said: “Following a competitive tendering exercise, we are absolutely delighted to have been appointed to undertake such a prestigious project for Hartlepool Borough Council which will provide pleasure and enjoyment to local people.

“Having previously undertaken a number of successful schemes, we are delighted to not only play a part in restoring such a historic landmark within the town but to be able to bring forward our local knowledge and expertise as well as provide wider benefits to the town. Being a Hartlepool-based contractor, we are well positioned to provide a locally-based team, boosting employment opportunities for local people.”

Kieran Bostock, Hartlepool Borough Council’s Assistant Director for Place Management, added: “This is a really exciting project and one that I am proud has been designed by the Council’s in-house teams and will be delivered by a local contractor, once again showcasing the level of skill and creativity available on our doorstep.”