DESPITE the ambitious plans elsewhere in the town, South Tyneside Council leader Coun Iain Coun Malcolm says there is no question of “abandoning King Street”.
Key to the plan is the idea of “linking up” areas of the town from the riverside, through the town centre and on to the foreshore.
He added: “Just to be clear on King Street. We don’t own King Street. We don’t own the shops, we don’t set the rents, we don’t set the rates.
“That’s set by Government, we simply collect them. What we’re responsible for is the street scene.
“What retailers tell us is rents are too high and the buildings are not what they require for future operations, which is why we have to look at new developments like this, which are purpose-built.
“That’s why Debenhams and British Homes Stores are on a different location, where the fire station used to be, as they were saying they wouldn’t go into King Street.
“That’s not to say we forgo King Street, but instead that we network it to deliver a much better street scene.”