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FISH QUAY: Multi-million pound boost for North Shields regeneration

FISH QUAY: Multi-million pound boost for North Shields regeneration

Image: LDRS

The regeneration of North Shields has been given a multi-million pound spending boost.

Almost £9m of funding was confirmed on Tuesday for works at the Fish Quay, the Shields Ferry landing, and the redevelopment of three major housing sites that could deliver hundreds of new homes.

The cash injection was signed off by the North of Tyne Combined Authority (NTCA), with North of Tyne mayor Jamie Driscoll warning that without improvements at the Fish Quay the industry could leave the region.

At a cabinet meeting on Tuesday afternoon, the NTCA agreed to give £1.5m to improve vital infrastructure at the site and bring two closed berths back into use.

A cabinet report said that the project was “essential to safeguard and maintain the fishing industry” in North Shields, where 56 businesses support more than 300 jobs.

The money will be used to restore the Projection Jetty, which has been closed since 2017 due to safety concerns, and construct a new wave wall which will provide protection to the Fish Quay and the Gut.

Mr Driscoll said: “If we look at some of our ancient industries like supporting the Fish Quay, without our investment there that industry would leave our region.

“It is the last working fishing port we have got. We are not only moving into new industries, we are protecting old ones that have sustainable futures.

“We are changing the lives of people and it does speak to the overall agenda of a zero-carbon, zero-poverty North East.”

The NTCA is also putting £750,000 towards the renewal and relocation of the North Shields ferry landing, which is being moved 750 metres downstream.

The scheme, for which £8.8m of other funding was announced in February, is needed to replace the current deteriorating landing before it becomes unusable in a couple of years and to provide a better link to the regeneration area at the Fish Quay.

Three housing sites in the town have also been earmarked for a total £6.4m – including the former Unicorn House office block, which is set to be demolished and replaced by 28 new homes.

Money from the Brownfield Housing Fund will also be used for the next phase of development at Smith’s Dock, where development has been halted after the discovery of an underground coal seam – with the NTCA saying “significant works” are now needed to progress with a further 660 homes that could be built there.

The final site due to receive funding is the former Tyne Brand factory, once the biggest canned meat producer in the country, where more than 100 homes could be built if it can be demolished, asbestos removed, and the land remediated.

The NTCA says its investment fund programme now totals £59m, which is expected to contribute to a projected 4,130 new jobs and draw in more than £193m of private sector cash.

The combined authority was established in 2018 as Newcastle, Northumberland and North Tyneside councils broke away from the rest of the region for a £600m devolution deal,  though there are now hopes of reuniting with South Tyneside, Sunderland, County Durham, and Gateshead under a new regional mayor.

The NTCA is also due to launch a £10m Covid recovery fund, aimed at helping businesses adapt to use new technologies, and a £3.25m restart pot for the culture and creative sector.

Words: Daniel Holland, Local Democracy Reporter


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