Historic South Shields building to be transformed

Harton and Westoe Miners Banner group members at St Hilda's Colliery, celebrating the Tyne and Wear Building Preservation Trust's, Heritage Lottery Fund grant to refurbish the former headstock, with trust chairman Peter Fall, centre.
Councillor Alan Kerr and Peter Fall of the Tyne and Wear Building Preservation Trust at St Hildas Headstock with members of the Harton & Westoe Miners Banner Group.

Harton and Westoe Miners Banner group members at St Hilda's Colliery, celebrating the Tyne and Wear Building Preservation Trust's, Heritage Lottery Fund grant to refurbish the former headstock, with trust chairman Peter Fall, centre. Councillor Alan Kerr and Peter Fall of the Tyne and Wear Building Preservation Trust at St Hildas Headstock with members of the Harton & Westoe Miners Banner Group.

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Have your say

Plans to transform a historic South Tyneside building into a business start up centre are set to go on show to the public.

People will be able to have their say and find out more about what’s in store for the derelict St Hilda’s Colliery Headstock building in South Shields.

“I would encourage businesses as well as residents to come along and see the plans for the workspaces in the building and to discuss the opportunities available to help give the building a new lease of life.”

Coun Alan Kerr

The move to breathe new life into the venue has been made possible thanks to funding awarded to the Tyne and Wear Building and preservation Trust by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

An open day will now be held at the Grade II listed building on Tuesday from 3pm until 6pm.

The event will give people interested in renting an office or workshop space in the building, including artists and creatives, the chance to find out more.

Money generated through rents will be used to take care of future maintenance and to make the building more sustainable.

Coun Alan Kerr, Deputy Leader of South Tyneside Council with responsibility for culture and leisure, said: “This is a brilliant opportunity for people to find out more about the potential sustainable future of this historic building.

“I would encourage businesses as well as residents to come along and see the plans for the workspaces in the building and to discuss the opportunities available to help give the building a new lease of life.”

St Hilda’s Colliery opened in 1810 and continued until 1940 when it was closed and used only as a ventilation shaft for the new Westoe Colliery built in 1910. This led to a steady demolition of the surrounding buildings, with the pumping station in Station Road the only building left standing today.

It is one of very few physical remains of mining heritage within the former Durham coalfield.

The plans also include space to be created within the building to display mining memorabilia, artefacts, photographs and banners, paying tribute to the borough’s mining past thanks to the support of the Harton & Westoe Miners Banner Group.

In addition to the HLF grant, the council is contributing around £60,000 towards the project’s overall costs of £812,000. The project is also being supported by the Architectural Heritage Fund, which funded early feasibility work to examine the potential reuse of the building, and has committed to further support in the future.

For more information contact Richard Barber, Arts and Heritage Officer at South Tyneside Council on (0191) 424 7850 or email richard.barber@southtyneside.gov.uk or Martin Hulse, Trust Manager of Tyne & Wear Building Preservation Trust, on (0191) 260 2133 or email martin@twbpt.org.uk.