They once helped make the banks of the River Tyne a hive of industrial activity.
Now, the sheds of McNulty Offshore are being pulled down as the next chapter in the site’s history begins.
The gas and oil industry contractor closed in early 2012 after the firm went into administration when orders dried up, leading to 100 workers to lose their jobs.
Since then, the site has lain empty, although it was bought the same year by Port of Tyne.
The Gazette understands plans for the 10 acre site in Temple Town, Tyne Dock, are still in their development stage, with the large imposing buildings being demolished to make the site look more attractive and lead the way for any future business opportunities.
Earlier this year the port applied to South Tyneside Council for permission to demolish a number of buildings which were said to be in a “dangerous state of repair.”
The demolition of unused, unsafe structures is now necessary and is part of the port’s plans to attract further investment for future growth.Port of Tyne
Among those listed in the application were a two-storey steel frame structure, a brick pitched roof building, temporary cabins and a steel fabrication shed, in addition to other buildings.
The application also added that once cleared, the land, which boarders the post’s Tyne Dock estate, would be prepared for industrial redevelopment as part of its activities.
A spokesperson for Port of Tyne said: “Since acquiring the former McNulty premises in 2012 the Port has invested over £2.5 million in improving the site.
“The demolition of unused, unsafe structures is now necessary and is part of the port’s plans to attract further investment for future growth. “It will also immediately improve the appearance of the area visible from the road.”
When McNulty’s first closed, there were fears the closure signalled the end of ship-related operations at the riverside yard, which stretched back 200 years.
Port of Tyne has previously hinted at the land could be given a new lease of life.
When it bought the plot, it said it was “a strategically significant site” with access to deep water and only three miles from the mouth of the river and the North Sea. At the time of the acquisition, chief executive officer Andrew Moffat told the Gazette: “It is vital that land like this is retained for industrial and commercial use, and its acquisition will facilitate the delivery of the port’s growth plans across our diverse portfolio of interests. “The site is well known to those in the offshore sector, and provides potential for developments in the associated wind, oil and gas sectors.”
Two years ago, the council approved plans for the port to carry out a £180million expansion.
This will include creation of a new wood pellet-handling and storage facility.
It will create 900 construction jobs and 300 full-time jobs when up and running.
The extension, on land next to Tyne Logistics and IHC Engineering, would also incorporate 10.50m-high storage silos and two 46m-high rail-loading silos.