THE final demolition work is taking place as part of a £12m regeneration scheme to transform the face of Hebburn town centre.
Hundreds of tenants have moved out and dozens of outdated properties have been flattened to make way for the new Hebburn hub, which is set to provide state-of-the-art facilities, including a new library, swimming pool and a learning centre.
Coun Richard Porthouse, chairman of South Tyneside Council’s Hebburn community area forum, this week watched as contractors knocked down the remaining properties in Glen Street.
Work on installing public utilities for the hub is now under way in Station Road.
He said: “Great progress has been made and the town centre is already looking very different. I’m glad to see the old flats come down and it won’t be long before people in Hebburn see real progress with the hub.
“The utilities are going in and work will then start on the Hebburn hub, which will be completed by next Christmas.”
South Tyneside Council devised the hub plan after years of frustration and anger over the state of the outmoded town centre.
Talks collapsed with retail giants Asda and Tesco about creating a large superstore in the town, before the council unveiled its ambitious hub scheme late last year.
Willmott Dixon Construction Ltd is the main contractor on the Hebburn hub project, which will be a two-storey building, with a total floor space of 5,452 metres, incorporating a main swimming pool and a learner pool, a library, fitness suite, sports hall, dance studio, soft play area and café, plus meeting rooms and customer service centre.
Coun Eddie McAtominey, chairman of Hebburn Regeneration Board and a driving force behind the scheme, said the hub will give the town centre “a real shot in the arm”.