Plans for a new 5,000-capacity arena in Redcar have taken an important step forward.

After months of negotiations Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council have finalised the option to lease the former Coatham Bowl site to Coatham Arena Limited for the development of the £70million multi-purpose indoor arena.

CAL Chairman, Frankie Wales, said: “Our agreement with the council provides the foundation for the granting of an option on the land and is tremendous news for Redcar and the wider region. It is welcomed by our many supporters, local businesses and the events industry and allows us to now move forward with a detailed planning application in the expectation it will open by 2028”.

Council leader, Councillor Alec Brown, said “Our administration promised to support this project and we now have seen it through to a successful agreement on terms for leasing the land. The success of this project means securing hundreds of jobs and thousands of visitors to the area, providing a huge boost to our local economy which is forecast to be worth over £42million a year.

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"We wish CAL the best of luck in preparing their plans and, if successful, delivering this for the people of Redcar and Cleveland. I would like to assure residents that no public money will be involved; it is private investment that is the driving force, which is fantastic and very much welcomed”.

The new Arena will occupy the prime seafront site once home to the renowned Coatham Bowl which, for 40 years before it was demolished in 2014, played host to many famous acts such as The Pogues, Fairport Convention, Chris Rea, The Proclaimers, Ozzy Osbourne, Slade and Whitesnake to name just a few.

Coatham Arena will provide a venue for elite entertainment, sporting, conference, exhibition and social events all-year round with the landmark building also featuring a permanent and unique visitor attraction as well as benefiting the local tourism economy, employment and businesses.

The £70million project is to be privately funded with the council receiving an annual rent, business rates and other income, including from a car park to be built by CAL to replace the Majuba Road amenity.

At one stage, it had looked in doubt when a business case was previously rejected with the council suggesting alternative potential venues elsewhere in the borough.

Elements were also criticised by members of an independent group which formed part of the previous administration on the council, which said it had “serious concerns” about the location and claimed the arena could “dwarf” surrounding homes in Newcomen Terrace and Queen Street.