An iconic cultural venue in the heart of South Shields is exceeding expectations only six months after opening.
Since it opened last October, The Word, National Centre for the Written Word, has attracted 220,000 visitors from across the North East and beyond.
It has also won six, played host to a number of leading authors and welcomed around 2,000 new library members.
The state-of-the-art building, in South Shields Market Place, also incorporates impressive exhibition and digital media spaces as well as a computer gaming area. There is also a FabLab with 3D printers and vinyl and laser cutters.
It also features digitised archives, meeting rooms, StoryWorld – a children’s immersive storytelling area, OpenZone IT suite, a café, gift shop, visitor information centre and a rooftop terrace providing views over the river Tyne.
Coun Alan Kerr, deputy leader of South Tyneside Council with responsibility for culture and leisure, said: “We always knew that The Word would be a valuable asset to South Tyneside. It is a magnificent public space, with an imposing location, and its opening months have surpassed all of our expectations.
“The Word is brimming with exciting new experiences, activities and facilities for people of all ages to enjoy and has been embraced as a beacon for the region, not only as a major new attraction celebrating the written word, but a vital community resource. We are receiving extremely positive feedback from visitors.”
For further information about The Word and to find out what’s on, visit www.theworduk.org.