Calls for ‘seaside tsar’ to bring South Shields back to glory days

South Tyneside Business Forum is looking at how to improve shops and tourism in South Shields.
South Tyneside Business Forum is looking at how to improve shops and tourism in South Shields.
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A ‘Seaside Tsar’ could be drafted in to spearhead efforts to bring in more business to shops and offer more to draw in extra visitors to South Shields.

Businesses are in talks with South Tyneside Council to set up a team to lead efforts to improve the town’s shops and tourist attractions.

Gary Craig of South Tyneside Business Forum.

Gary Craig of South Tyneside Business Forum.

It could see someone appointed to head up the project, which will focus on filling empty premises and problem solving.

The move, by South Tyneside Business Forum, comes as a report commissioned by the British Hospitality Association (BHA) champions the idea of a tsar for “forgotten” seaside towns in the fight back from “decades of decay”.

Another survey by the owners of Butlin’s and the BHA found more than half of the British public have not visited the seaside in the past three years, and 65% believe they are run-down and in need of investment.

Gary Craig, chairman of the forum, said it welcomes any ideas that will help improve the town, but said support is already in place from the Government aimed at helping coastal towns.

It won’t be easy and it will not happen overnight but, we need to try and instil some community spirit and come up with workable ways of filling empty premises and solving other problems rather than simply complaining about them.

Gary Craig

Speaking of its own ‘tsar’ plans, he said: “Further details will follow but the forum is appealing to any interested business or individual in the borough to get on board and help us improve the town centre.

“It won’t be easy and it will not happen overnight but, we need to try and instil some community spirit and come up with workable ways of filling empty premises and solving other problems rather than simply complaining about them.”

Anyone interested in becoming involved, visit www.southtynesidebusinessforum.com.