WORK has started on a new £4.6m housing development in Jarrow.
The town’s MP Stephen Hepburn and the Mayor of South Tyneside, Coun Fay Cunningham, used silver spades to cut the first sod of earth at the site of the 55 new homes.
A mix of one, two and three-bedroom houses, bungalows and flats are being built in Saxon Way and Stanley Street and are due to be completed by March next year.
Staff and pupils from Dunn Street Primary School were also invited to the turf-cutting ceremony.
Coun Cunningham said: “It’s really exciting to see this project get off the ground.
“Housing has such a major impact on people’s lives, and I’m sure all those who move into these properties will be proud to call them their homes.”
The new homes are among 400 properties to be built over the next five years by the borough’s new housing company, South Tyneside Housing Ventures trust. The company was given £275,000 worth of funding for the properties by the Government’s Homes and Communities Agency.
Brian Scott, company secretary of the housing firm, said: “This promises to be a fantastic development which will provide quality social housing to help meet local need.
“Once finished, they will be rented out via South Tyneside Homes, with a small number to be offered for sale with shared ownership.”
The trust was set up by the council and South Tyneside Homes to oversee the building of new homes in the borough.
It is run by a board of seven members, including three councillors.
Developer Southdale has asked Dunn Street Primary School pupils to design health and safety posters as part of the project.