Building on feedback from residents and businesses, our Ambition for North Tyneside lays out a number of bold projects reflecting the authority’s ambition around its ‘our people’, ‘our place’ and ‘our economy’ themes.
It focuses on the needs of every part of the borough and sets out how the council hopes to help shape North Tyneside and make sure it is fit for the future.
What we want to achieve
The South West has some fantastic assets; a World Heritage site at Segedunum, the industrial north bank of the Tyne, with world leading business (including the Swans site), a great leisure offer with Hadrian Leisure Centre, well used libraries and the refurbished Richardson Dees Parks and, for some parts of the community, some strong transport links.
We continue to support business and residents to create more and better jobs and work with public transport providers and funders to help improve the connections of those parts of the area that do not have strong transport links. We also want to improve the housing offer and improve the sense of place and community and in doing so closing the gap in life chances.
What we are doing now
Swan Hunter Site
Following Cabinet’s decision in May 2018 to approach the market with a view to the sale or long leasehold of the former Swan Hunter shipyard site, we have now secured an exciting future for the historic site as a major asset to the local and wider economy. A deal has been agreed to sell it to the preferred bidder, Shepherd Offshore, who have major plans for the facility. The new partnership is the next step in a strategy by us and our partners over the last few years to bring it back into economic use. It is part of a wider long-term strategy to build on the success and develop the North Bank of the River Tyne with partners as a world class destination for offshore and advanced manufacturing. This marka a major milestone in the renaissance of the river and will see further investment creating more and better jobs for our residents as well as valuable potential for business growth.
Centre for Innovation
We have completed the second phase of the Centre for Innovation which has seen the creation of 10,000 sq. ft of commercial floorspace for businesses and builds on the success of the first phase of the scheme which is occupied by a range of companies related to the offshore / energy sectors. There has been some market interest in the new office provision and marketing is underway to attract new tenants. The existing phase 1 offices are now over 80% occupied.
Work has been completed in articulating a new vision for Segedunum with Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums. Specialist advice was procured from the nationally renowned Hemmingway Design which has given us intelligence on the market and has identified potential opportunities to grow the visitor offer. This is now being developed into a comprehensive 15 Year Master Plan and investment programme for the site which will underpin future business planning and will help grow the visitor offer making it a more sustainable entity. It will also integrate the site into the wider Wallsend offer and will capture benefits arising from the sale and redevelopment of the Swan Hunter site.
Charlotte Street Housing
In 2019 we acquired 11 residential properties in Charlotte Street, Wallsend. The properties were in the ownership of a single landlord and were in a poor condition and poorly managed which was having a major impact on the residential amenity of the street and the quality of life for residents. Having secured the vacant possession of the properties and secured them, work is now underway to refurbish and conversion from flats to family housing.
We continue to work with town centre landowners New River Retail and healthcare providers to deliver new healthcare facilities in the heart of Wallsend town centre as part of the regeneration of the town centre. Discussions continue between the providers and landowners to refine a financially viable scheme which can be delivered.
GM Memorial Hospital
Work continues with the current operator of the Civic Hall to explore future opportunities for the wider site. A key element of this work is to ensure that any proposals are aligned with our wider objectives for the site and to maximise the potential for securing external funding opportunities.
Pre-renovation enabling works have now been completed to the building which represents the first phase of activity to bring the building back into beneficial economic use. This has included site set up and security, completion of condition and asbestos surveys, removal of dangerous roof timbers and partial roof repairs to prevent further ingress of water in advance of a full re-roof of the building. The transfer of the property to a private sector developer/operator is currently being progressed to facilitate the main phase of renovation work to bring the building back into use as serviced office accommodation and conferencing/events space.
What we will do next
It is proposed that further investment is brought forward at Segedunum to deliver our ambition for the site and to grow it as a visitor destination. Using the work from Hemingway Design, a Master Plan and supporting investment programme will be produced and agreed. Investment will be targeted towards the repair and refurbishment of existing fabric of the of the buildings and site with a focus on the Bath House which has been closed for some time.
Swan Hunter Site
Following the sale of the site we will work with the new owners to bring forward new employment opportunities. This will include working with regional and national funding partners to secure investment. Work will also be done to ensure there is integration between our objectives for Swan Hunters and the proposals for investment in Segedunum to ensure they complement each other and maximise the benefits for Wallsend town centre and the surrounding area.
GB Memorial Hospital
Demolition work will begin on the later extensions to the GB Hunter Memorial Hospital in 2020/21 with planning approval having been granted subject to conditions.
A revised planning application is expected. We will continue to work with the private sector over the development of Centurion Park.