North Shields Cultural Quarter open for business

The first phase of ambitious restoration work to North Shields town centre is now complete. 

The project, which is part of North Tyneside Council’s regeneration masterplan for North Shields and the Fish Quay, has seen the redevelopment of the historic Northumberland Square, Howard Street and surrounding area. 

Sympathetic to its heritage and roots, works began last September to take the square back to its original Georgian layout of footpaths and a perimeter of trees, enhancing the biodiversity of the park by introducing thousands of new plants. 

The project, which was supported and co-founded by Historic England, creates a new Cultural Quarter for North Shields, incorporating Northumberland Square, Howard Street and surrounding area to support sustainable economic and cultural growth to restore and enhance local historic character. 

Cllr Carl Johnson, Deputy Mayor of North Tyneside and cabinet member for Regeneration and Economic Development, said: “It’s fantastic to see the Square complete and already in use and being enjoyed by local residents and visitors, particularly at the first major event on Monday: the multicultural celebration that is North Tyneside Together.  

“The reshaping of Northumberland Square and Howard Street creates a welcoming modern feel and tranquil, pleasant and more flexible space in this historic part of the town for events and leisure activities that everyone can enjoy, adding to the appeal of the town centre and complementing the other North Shields regeneration projects that are now well underway.” 

The scheme was developed in partnership with Capita. 

Capita’s North Tyneside Partnership Director, Margie Burdis, said: Margie Burdis said: “We’re delighted to be helping North Tyneside Council achieve its exciting vision for North Shields.

“The transformation of Howard Street and Northumberland Square is simply incredible – and it was great to see the park quickly being put to good use during the North Tyneside Together event.

“Our site team worked closely with the Council to help keep everyone informed about progress and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank residents and businesses for their patience during construction.

“Now, having seen such a great end result, I personally can’t wait for us to work with the Council on a further phase of the masterplan.”

Traditional sandstone paving and cobbled-style paths have been installed throughout the square, with new contemporary lighting and up-lighting to trees. The addition of new plants and shrubs, as well as a native beech hedgerow will help diversify habitats and enhance ecology, creating a biodiversity net-gain to the conservation area. 

Howard Street offers a shared highway surface for occasional vehicle use, creating a new pedestrian and cyclist-friendly cultural scene, giving a nod to the original historic footway geometry. An avenue of trees and seating has been installed leading up to the Square from the Fish Quay, as part of our tree planting programme which contributes to the borough’s net-zero 2030 ambitions. 

The thoroughfare between Northumberland Square and North Shields retail centre has undergone reinstatement of period curtilage detail, including a bleed of natural materials appropriate to the conservation area and allowing for a good pedestrian link from Bedford Street to the square. 


Notes to editors:

Capita Local Public Service, part of Capita plc, is dedicated to making processes smarter, organisations more efficient and customer experiences better across the local government, health and education sector in the UK. We unlock value for our clients by applying talent and technology. Responsible for operating all of Capita’s major local, public sector partnerships, we deliver a wide range of specialist services including IT and digital transformation, customer management, revenues, benefits, finance, infrastructure support and regulatory services, education support and back office processing.

Capita Local Public Service can also draw on specialist capabilities, such as HR, payroll and procurement from across the wider Capita group, to ensure the very best market knowledge and outcomes are achieved.

On behalf of North Tyneside Council, Capita delivers a range of technical services: engineering; property and planning.