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Community Forum To Focus On Town Centre Vision

Residents will have a chance to find out more about ambitious plans for redevelopment of South Shields Town Centre at this month's meeting of the Riverside Area Forum.

The forum meeting, which takes place on Thursday 31 January, will focus on the ambitious 'South Shields 365' masterplan, as well as providing updates on a range of other local projects.

The £100m masterplan, launched earlier this month, sets out a bold vision for regeneration of the town centre, including a new cinema, library, retail and leisure facilities. The plan was developed by South Tyneside Council with the aim of making South Shields an exciting destination every day of the year.

The Forum's Chair, Councillor John Anglin, said: "This is an important opportunity for residents to find out more about South Shields 365 and to express their views about the plans. In spite of a difficult economic climate, the Council is working to bring £100m investment into the town centre, to make it a place where people want to visit and spend their time.

"It's an ambitious plan, but our regeneration plans for the town have already made progress, with the new seafront pool and riverside park almost complete, and hundreds of new jobs created through our partnership with BT. The demolition of Wouldhave House will be another important step."

The masterplan sets out to improve links between the town centre, riverside and foreshore areas, with new leisure, cultural and retail opportunities attracting visitors and helping the town respond to the challenges from online shopping, out of town retail parks and the tough economic climate.

Over the next five years, the plan proposes a comprehensive redevelopment of Fowler Street West, creating a new retail quarter, while the eyesore Wouldhave House building would make room for two new buildings, one of which would provide a new central library and community hub. The plans also include a new transport interchange, hotel and opportunities for new housing.

The forum meeting takes place on Thursday 31 January, 6pm, at South Shields Town Hall. Residents can find out more at the meeting, at www.southshields365.co.uk or by contacting John Sparkes at South Tyneside Council on 0191 424 7603 or emailing john.sparkes@southtyneside.gov.uk.

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