Town Centre Demolitions Clear Way for College

Posted by: Caroline Smith on 23 June 2023 11:21

Relocated college facilities are another step closer as further demolition work gets underway in South Shields town centre.

The former Central Library on Prince Georg Square will be brought down, with the cleared site earmarked for student accommodation.

How the new student accommodation could look on the site.
The Old Central Library building.

MGL Demolition, part of the MGL Group, has been appointed to carry out the work, which will take around six months to complete.

It is the last of the sites to be demolished to facilitate South Tyneside College's proposed move into the town centre from its current Westoe location.

The building has been disused since 2016, following the opening of the state-of-the-art library and cultural venue, The Word.

Cllr Margaret Meling, Lead Member for Economic Growth and Transport, said: "We know there is overwhelming public support for the college's proposed move into the town centre and for the last couple of years we've been assembling the sites needed to free up land for the development.

"This building has been empty for several years now so I think people will be excited to see some progress on the site.

"Diversifying and boosting footfall is crucial; times have changed and we know we can't rely solely on traditional retail anymore. A relocated college would bring in thousands of additional people, leading to a livelier town centre which will benefit businesses.

"This is about looking to the future and, together, shaping a vibrant town centre that appeals to all generations."

Last year, the council carried out 'Our South Shields Conversation' to consult local people about the future of the town. More than 80 per cent of the 1,300 residents who responded supported the proposed college move.

A masterplan has been developed and a planning application is due to be submitted to create a modern campus spanning King Street and Barrington Street, with student accommodation located on the old library site. The proposed relocation will also include refurbishment of the Grade II listed Barrington Street building, highways improvements and green spaces.

The demolition work will begin with an internal stripout and asbestos removal, with demolition of the concrete structure starting at the end of the bird nesting season. The council-owned car park alongside the building, off Anderson Street, is now closed.

Last year the College secured £20m in funding from Government's FE Capital Transformation Programme to support the move.

Last modified: 23 January 2024 17:26