AN ambitious masterplan to revamp Hartlepool's Marina and waterfront is being drawn up.

Hartlepool Council has appointed commercial property firm GVA to put together the plan - part of the council's Hartlepool Vision, which aims to revitalise the town centre and lay the foundations for future prosperity.

GVA's plans will set out in detail what can be delivered in making Hartlepool a major player in the tourism and leisure industries and will be completed by the end of 2014.

Councillor Christopher Akers-Belcher, the leader of Hartlepool Council, said: "We know that Hartlepool has lots of assets but there is also so much more potential to make the town a better place to live, work and visit.

"Hartlepool Council has very bold and ambitious plans to regenerate key areas of the town and GVA fully understand what we are trying to achieve for the town.

"Our aim is to create major new retail and leisure facilities, increase the town's profile as a visitor destination, a centre for advanced manufacturing and produce much-needed job opportunities for the town and the masterplan will help to achieve this. It is all about promoting Hartlepool as a quality, thriving destination."

Cllr Akers-Belcher said that one of the first steps would be to seek local people's views on what they would like to see in the Masterplan and consultation will take place over the summer months.

Richard Newsome, an associate in GVA's Newcastle office, said: "Hartlepool has many strengths and it has achieved significant regeneration successes over the years, but the Masterplan heralds the beginning of an exciting new chapter for the town."

Hartlepool Council has already bought the former Jacksons Landing site, which lies at the heart of the marina and real estate company M Seven recently purchased the Highlight Retail Park in the Marina. It plans to extend the site and create 50 new jobs in the process.