We're redeveloping Northumberland Square to recreate its historic layout and creating a Cultural Quarter linking to Howard Street, as well as making a number of improvements to public spaces.
It's part of our Ambition for North Shields and the Fish Quay regeneration Masterplan and forms part of our aims to create a smaller but more vibrant, high-quality town centre; to create more flexible retail opportunities and expand the evening and weekend economy; to improve public transport and the quality of walking and cycling connections across the town (including better links to Fish Quay); and to raise and improve the quality of the built environment and the quality of public space in North Shields with more of it suitable for hosting events and festivals.
What is happening?
The project will see the redevelopment of the Georgian square, sympathetic to its heritage and roots to create a tranquil, pleasant space for everyone to enjoy and a better environment to host events, such as the Victorian Christmas Market, and leisure activities.
It will involve taking the Square back to its original historical layout, which featured a perimeter of trees rather than within the centre of the park, simplifying the network of footpaths, installing traditional sandstone paving and cobbled-style paths, new contemporary lighting and up lighting throughout.
The Square was originally laid out as a formal garden with a network of footpaths for those living in the Georgian terrace and featured a perimeter of trees, as shown by the original plan below from 1826.
Over time the appearance of the Square has changed and now no longer features any planting as the canopy of trees has grown to be too dense, while the layout of footpaths has also altered.
The project, which has been informed by historic research, aims to reinstate the original footpath layout and create a tranquil, pleasant and open space for everyone to enjoy. It will also provide a more flexible space that is better able to accommodate events, such as the Victorian Christmas Market, and leisure activities.
The biodiversity of the park will be enhanced through the introduction of thousands of new plants, including a native beech hedgerow around all sides of the park.
The new-look square will create a welcoming open space to enjoy and use for leisure activities and events, adding to the appeal of the town centre and complementing the other regeneration projects.
Please see the Related Documents section below for detailed information about the plans.
The scheme will be the first step towards creating a new Cultural Quarter for North Shields, incorporating the square and the top end of Howard Street (north of the Saville Street junction to the Square), offering a new, pedestrian and cyclist-friendly environment and cultural scene.
Is anything else happening?
The redevelopment is being supported by a third-party grant scheme to enable businesses and residents in the North Shields High Street HAZ area to replace and repair key architectural and heritage features of their properties, many of which are listed and a programme of cultural activities for residents, volunteers, local businesses and visitors to get involved and share the culture and history of the area, and a programme of heritage skills training.
When is it happening?
Preliminary works took place in April and May 2021. These involved excavating holes in Northumberland Square, Howard Street and Saville Street to assess ground conditions and the precise location of underground cables and utilities.
Enabling works began in late September 2021, which includes removing lighting columns and reducing the number of trees in the park area of Square, in line with the masterplan proposals outlined during the public consultation.
Main construction works are being carried out from October. The redevelopment of the Square is expected to be complete by summer 2022.
Who is involved?
It’s all part of North Tyneside Council’s ‘Ambition for North Shields and the Fish Quay’ Masterplan to transform the town centre and riverside through a series of bold regeneration projects and improve the area so that it provides the right environment to support businesses, leisure users and retail.
Funding for the redevelopment has come from Historic England and The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s Getting Building fund.
The scheme is being delivered in partnership with Capita.
How can I find out more?
We are producing regular electronic bulletins to report on our progress. To subscribe to the e-bulletin service, please email AmbitionNS@northtyneside.gov.uk and put ‘Subscribe’ in the subject line – and if you have any queries during the project, please email AmbitionNS@northtyneside.gov.uk or telephone (0191) 643 4830.
Please also see the FAQs below for more information about the project.
Find out the latest information about the scheme here.