Wesley Chapel - Your Questions Answered

How much is Hartlepool Borough Council putting into the Wesley Chapel?

The Council has secured £1.4m of external funding towards this project, the cost of what is known as the ‘conservation deficit’. This is to preserve and protect the heritage and historic elements of the building. The other £2.4m is being invested by developer Jomast. Local residents will not be contributing any money to this project through their Council Tax.

The building is privately owned, so why is the Council getting involved?

The Wesley Chapel is a Grade II listed building on the ‘at risk’ register. In this case, the cost of completing the restoration is greater than the post-renovation commercial end value of the building, a common situation with heritage buildings. This is known as a ‘conservation deficit’. The commercial end value is calculated independently of the Council and Jomast, in accordance with Government guidelines. 

How long will this project take to complete?

The project is expected to take between 18 months and 36 months to complete. 

Does Hartlepool need another hotel?

The scheme involves transforming the Wesley Chapel into a boutique venue which can also be used for large functions and weddings. Substantial independent research has gone into the proposal and the boutique venue scheme is different to other hotel and hospitality offers within Hartlepool. 

What is happening with the Grand Hotel?

The building was purchased last year by new owners as a result of the exciting plans for the town centre being led by the Council, and they recently opened the venue’s newly-named 1899 bar. The hotel’s first 20 bedrooms will become available during November.

Were the public consulted on the projects for the Hartlepool Town Deal?

Over 400 local residents and businesses took part in the Hartlepool Town Deal consultation. This consultation helped to shape what local residents thought were key priorities to be progressed through the Hartlepool Town Deal.

Why can’t the money be used on more important things like fixing roads or social care?

Town Deal funding comes with strict criteria on how it can be spent. The Council cannot use it for existing services.

Will the project help local people and the money spent in the local economy?

The project will be a huge boost to the local economy and Jomast has made a series of commitments, including giving preference to local residents for any new direct employment opportunities, actively recruiting in the local area during the redevelopment, giving local small businesses the opportunity to quote for all aspects of the build, creating apprenticeships for local people and giving preference to local suppliers for all material purchases where possible. The project will also create 55 new, full-time jobs when the building opens in 2025.