THE latest stage of an ambitious regeneration scheme has been launched in Hebburn town centre.
South Tyneside councillors were on hand to watch contractors MGL Demolition start flattening Kensington, Mayfair, Reyrolle and Cheshire Courts, plus several properties in Rose Court.
The demolition work will help pave the way for a new, council-led community hub, incorporating a new swimming pool, state-of-the-art gym, library and customer service centre, plus new family homes and some shopping facilities.
Coun Eddie McAtominey, chairman of Hebburn Regeneration Board, said: “This is another important step forward in the regeneration of Hebburn town centre.
“We have made a lot of progress over the past year, with the five blocks already down, new homes built at School Street and world-class school buildings opened at Keelman’s Way and Hebburn Lakes.
“We have a clear vision for Hebburn, with quality new homes, schools and shopping facilities in a vibrant town centre.”
The latest stage in the regeneration blueprint follows the recent demolition of outdated blocks at nearby Glen Court, Thistle Court, Regent Court and Exeter Court, while a further seven are set to go before the end of the year.
Coun Michael Clare, lead member for regeneration and economy at South Tyneside Council, said: “The council is determined to drive forward regeneration in Hebburn to provide quality services, boost the town centre and also make it more attractive to private sector investors.
“We are already making good progress on developing the new Hebburn community hub, which will kick-start town centre renewal.”
The council says the community hub will create a new focal point for the town, with a wide, tree-lined pathway on the library site connecting it to Station Road and an extended town centre car park.
The plans also include space for up to 80 family homes at Glen Street, while a new site on the corner of Station Road and Glen Street is being offered up to supermarket operators.
Coun Richard Porthouse, chairman of Hebburn community area forum, said: “Demolition of the maisonettes is a clear indication of progress towards making the community hub a reality.
“We are making good progress towards the targets we have set for the project.”