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Latest plans for St Mary's Lighthouse to go on show

New plans reveal how St Mary’s Lighthouse could be revamped if a funding bid proves successful.

North Tyneside Council is in the final stages of preparing a bid for £2.1m to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to secure the building’s future.

Survey and investigation work has been ongoing since September 2016 thanks to National Lottery players, following the award of development funding from HLF to progress the plans.

Following the appointment of Beaumont Brown Architects as the project design team the latest designs, including the proposed layout of the lighthouse and images showing the building’s fresh, new look, are going on show.

Members of the public can find out more about the plans at Whitley Bay Customer First Centre from Wednesday, 10 May where the designs will be on display for a week. Council officers will be on hand on Tuesday, 16 May to discuss the proposals in more detail. 

The designs will also be on display over the coming months at the lighthouse and on the council’s website: www.northtyneside.gov.uk 

North Tyneside’s Elected Mayor Norma Redfearn said: “Our officers have been working hard since securing the development funding from the HLF to progress these designs before we submit our final bid.

“This is an incredibly important and exciting time for St Mary’s Lighthouse because if we are awarded this money we will be able to carry out vital works to safeguard this popular landmark as a valuable community and educational resource for future generations.

“I would urge people to come along and find out about the latest plans and give your support to the bid.”   

The proposals include restoring the lighthouse tower and former keeper’s cottages as well as rebuilding the original optic (light) to create a fascinating new feature for visitors to enjoy.

New extensions will be built to provide more educational and learning facilities, an area to host exhibitions and new retail space.

There will also be two new viewing areas, updated toilets and the visitor centre area will be modernised while the interpretation/display information will be renewed to enhance the visitor experience.

An activity plan featuring various educational and heritage themed events will run alongside - and following the completion of - the capital works, including celebrations to mark the 120th anniversary of the lighthouse.

The project is a major part of the council’s £36m Seafront Master Plan for Whitley Bay to breathe new life into the stretch of coastline between Cullercoats Bay and St Mary’s Island.

As part of the lighthouse funding bid a drive is also underway to recruit a number of volunteers to help in various ways, including maintenance, preservation and decision-making on heritage and environmental issues.

Further information about the new Friends of St Mary’s Lighthouse Group will be available during the exhibition or contact the lighthouse team on (0191) 200 8650 or email stmaryslighthouse@northtyneside.gov.uk 

Please see attached images showing artist’s impressions of how the lighthouse could look.

ENDS

Notes to editors:

Find out more about North Tyneside Council’s Seafront Master Plan at http://my.northtyneside.gov.uk/category/642/coastal-regeneration 

About the Heritage Lottery Fund

Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about - from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. www.hlf.org.uk.  Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #NationalLottery and #HLFsupported.