THE final part of a town centre demolition scheme has been launched in Hebburn town centre ahead of a £12m revitalisation project.
A new community hub will transform the run-down centre, including a new swimming pool, library and learning centre.
Contractors are flattening Lincoln Court and Rose Court, in readiness for the hub project, starting this year.
Coun Richard Porthouse, chairman of Hebburn community area forum, has welcomed the final phase of the demolition programme.
He said: “This is the last part of what has been a major demolition scheme, and it’s great to see the work under way.
“Once these blocks are down, local people will see the Hebburn hub take shape.
“We have rehoused dozens of residents, and people should soon see real progress in transforming the town centre.
“The hub will make a real difference to Hebburn town centre, and I cannot wait for the scheme to begin.”
Earlier this month, it was announced that Willmott Dixon Construction Ltd had been chosen to lead the project.
Planning permission was granted in June for the hub’s two-storey building, which covers a total floor area of 5,452 square metres.
Apart from the pool, library and learning centre, the hub will include a learner pool, fitness suite, sports hall, dance studio, soft play area and café, plus meeting rooms and a customer service centre.
Coun Eddie McAtominey, chairman of Hebburn Regeneration Board and Labour representative for Hebburn South, has backed the scheme from day one.
He said: “The hub will offer easy access to a range of council and other services in a modern, attractive building as well as giving the town centre a real shot in the arm.”
The Hebburn hub scheme follows years of frustration over the state of the town centre.
Potential revamp plans between South Tyneside Council and retail giants Asda and Tesco both came to nothing, prompting the council-led hub scheme, revealed last year by the Gazette.