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New £12.8m Hebburn hub starts to take shape

TAKING SHAPE ... from left, Rick OFarrell, head of enterprise and regeneration at South Tyneside Council, Andy Ray, senior building manager for Willmott Dixon, with Couns Nancy Maxwell, Alan Kerr, Ian Harkus, Richard Porthouse and Eddie McAtominey. Below, an artist's impression of what the hub will look like.

TAKING SHAPE ... from left, Rick OFarrell, head of enterprise and regeneration at South Tyneside Council, Andy Ray, senior building manager for Willmott Dixon, with Couns Nancy Maxwell, Alan Kerr, Ian Harkus, Richard Porthouse and Eddie McAtominey. Below, an artist's impression of what the hub will look like.

A NEW £12.8m regeneration scheme is starting to take shape in South Tyneside.

Town councillors were on hand to see the first of 400 tonnes of steelwork put in place at Hebburn’s new community hub.

The ambitious project will include two swimming pools, sport and fitness facilities and a new library.

A key part of Hebburn town centre regeneration, the hub is being built by Willmott Dixon Construction.

Coun Richard Porthouse, chairman of Hebburn community area forum, said: “This is a really exciting moment for Hebburn.

“We have been on the site, carrying out essential work for three months, but now for the first time you can see the building coming out of the ground.

“Over the past two years, we have taken down 15 outdated maisonette blocks to pave the way for regeneration, and now people can see the future starting to take shape.”

Construction started last November with a visit from TV presenter and outdoor enthusiast Julia Bradbury, and early work has included filling in old mine workings, laying the foundations and installing two giant attenuation tanks to manage water levels under the two swimming pools. The scheme also includes a 70-place car park behind Hebburn shopping centre.

Coun Eddie McAtominey, chairman of Hebburn Regeneration Board, said: “This is a fantastic moment for Hebburn and something we have worked towards for several years.

“The new hub will be a shot in the arm for the town centre and make it far more likely to attract future investment from the private sector.

“This will be a first-class facility for the community, and a flexible building that can be easily adapted to meet changing needs.”

Anthony Dillon, northern regional managing director of Willmott Dixon, said: “It’s fantastic to see the steelwork arriving and the building starting to take shape.”

The two-storey hub will incorporate a six-lane swimming pool, a learner pool, fitness suite, sports hall, dance studio, soft play area, a library, learning centre and cafe, plus meeting rooms and a customer service centre.

Twitter @terrykelly16w

 

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