DEMOLITION work is well under way in Hebburn as part of the town’s regeneration.
Reyrolle Court, a block of maisonettes in the town centre, is being pulled down to make way for the Hebburn hub.
The work is part of South Tyneside Council’s ambitious £12m plans to revamp the battered town centre with the creation of a state-of-the-art community hub, and follows years of frustration over plans to develop the outmoded 1960s centre, including the collapse of talks between council bosses and retail giants Tesco and Asda about the creation of a supermarket in Hebburn Newtown.
Contractors MGL Demolition were called in by the council to flatten Kensington, Mayfair, Reyrolle and Cheshire Courts, as well as numbers 1-3 Rose Street, to make room for the hub.
The demolition of Mayfair and Kensington Courts and the properties in Rose Street is now complete, and the sites are ready for landscaping, once the weather improves.
Work on Cheshire Court is due to begin after Easter, and Reyrolle Court is set to be demolished in the next few days.
Some residents of the maisonettes were moved out to High View, a new housing development in School Street. Building work on the hub is due to start in August. The scheme will include a new library, a six-lane 25m swimming pool, with room for 150 spectators, plus a learner pool and a 700sq m sports hall.
The hub will also incorporate a customer service centre for the council, South Tyneside Homes and other partners.
There will also be community meeting rooms and a low-impact cardiovascular facility.
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 in Glen Street, while a new site on the corner of Station Road and Glen Street is being offered to supermarket operators.
Coun Eddie McAtominey, chairman of Hebburn regeneration board, said: “The demolition contract is progressing well, with Mayfair and Kensington Courts already down and awaiting landscaping once the weather improves.
“With local people taking the chance to find out about the plans for a community hub at information sessions this week, it’s clear that we are seeing real progress towards making the regeneration of Hebburn town centre a reality.”