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
We are working towards raising the quality of the built environment, connecting a vibrant town centre in North Shields and quayside. We want to tackle working poverty and poor quality private rented housing as part of the work to close the gap.
We are working in partnership to develop a master plan for the town centre and the riverside.
What we are doing now
North Shields Master Plan
Following funding from the North of Tyne Combined Authority, work has been progressed to develop a Master Plan for North Shields Town Centre and Fish Quay. Like many town centres, North Shields has suffered from the decline of town centre retailing which is a consequence of structural changes at a national level in the retailing and leisure industries. The purpose of the Master Plan is to set out a vision for the town centre which reflects our policy objectives to broaden and diversify the visitor offer and to create a sustainable future for the town centre with improved links to the Fish Quay.
The Master Plan sets out a vision for the town centre and comprises a series of projects which, collectively, will transform the town centre and create opportunities for new commercial and residential developments as well as investment in the public transport infrastructure and public realm. In addition to the heritage based projects referred to above, the Master Plan proposes improvements to key gateways into the town centre, a proposed new bus station integrated with the existing Metro Station as well as other improvements to the highway network and public realm to improve the appearance of the town centre and enhance the visitor experience. Other interventions will see new housing identified for the former Tyne Brand Site and Unicorn House. The Master Plan is subject to ongoing public engagement and consultation which will provide an insight to views of residents and businesses alike.
We have also been successful in securing funding through the Transforming Cities Fund for major transport infrastructure projects. Our proposals are for a new integrated transport facility within North Shields Town Centre which will link bus and Metro services and provide a better customer experience. Our bid also includes highway improvements within North Shields Town Centre as well as proposals for a walkway from the town centre to the Fish Quay to improve pedestrian connectivity.
North Shields Heritage Action Zone
We have been successful in attracting Heritage Action Zone funding for improvements to Howard Street Conservation Area. This will see significant investment into the fabric of the Conservation Area including both buildings and public realm. This will improve the character and appearance of the Conservation Area and will build upon the investment at Northumberland Square. It will also provide new commercial opportunities for some of the buildings on Howard Street which could be repurposed toward high quality food and beverage / leisure uses and which would take advantage of this unique location.
Works have recently been completed to the toilet facilities within Cullercoats Bay. This has allowed for essential structural works, internal refurbishment and external redecoration works. The project was fully completed on19 August 2020 and arrangements will now be put in place to re-open that facilities to the public.
13-16 Northumberland Square
We are investing in the heart of the town centre with the restoration of the historic Grade 2 listed Georgian terrace at Northumberland Square further enhancing the character of the Conservation Area. This scheme sees 28 new family homes developed which will create a new residential quarter in the town centre which, in addition to providing a unique housing offer, will also drive footfall into the town centre helping to support local shops and services as part of our plans to diversify and broaden the town centre offer.
11-12 Northumberland Square
We recently acquired the adjacent properties (11-12 Northumberland Square) which were in private ownership and very poor condition. These listed properties will now be refurbished and converted into residential apartments to complement the rest of the scheme.
Wallington Court Housing
12 new homes have been delivered on the site of the former care home at Wallington Court within the Marden Estate. These well designed and attractive bungalows have provided a firstclass housing offer and greater choice for people wishing to live in the area.
We bought Unicorn House in May 2020 in order to redevelop the site to a high standard. Options are currently being prepared to bring forward a scheme and architects have been commissioned to produce options for an innovative development which reflects our policy objectives around placemaking and design quality. Tenders have also been received for the demolition of the site which includes the removal of asbestos.
The Tyne Brand Site
We are working with the new owners of the Tyne Brand site on the Fish Quay to identify development solutions that will see this prominent site brought forward for residential purposes. In broadening the housing offer at this stunning and unique location, the redevelopment of the site will address the issues of dereliction that blight the site and its surrounds. Moreover, it will open up new opportunities on Tanners Bank and Brew House Bank which will further improve the quality of place.
Tanners Bank Bridge
We have secured £3.6m funding for Tanners Bank Bridge and work is currently underway to refine a delivery strategy for this scheme. This includes a contribution of £300,000 from Nexus as well as our own £103,000 investment.
North Shields Ferry Landing
Work is ongoing with Nexus to refine a scheme for the relocation of the Ferry landing to Western Quay. It is also proposed that the new landing will link in with the proposed Riverside Embankment Walkway which is included in the Master Plan. Having a link into the heart of the Fish Quay will improve accessibility and drive footfall. The proposals will include bus turning facilities to ensure there is public transport connectivity with the town centre and beyond. Nexus are currently refining their plans and are seeking funding to deliver this.
The statue was removed from Northumberland Square and has been restored by Robert Thomson and Sons in Yorkshire who were the original sculptors. These works were completed in August and the statue has returned to the Square in its rightful place.
What we will do next
North Shields Town Centre and Fish Quay
As projects contained within the Master Plan are refined, it is proposed our funding is targeted towards the delivery of schemes identified in the Master Plan and is used as match funding in order to attract significant additional funding from Central Government, the North East LEP and the North of Tyne Combined Authority. Existing commitments for the funding include our contribution towards the Heritage Action Zone which is circa £1m. We will then be able to refine delivery strategies for the projects contained in the Master Plan.