South Tyneside College move plans: Bid for £20million of Levelling Up cash going in to fund moving college to South Shields town centre

A £20million bid is set to go into Government today as plans press ahead to move South Tyneside College into South Shields town centre.

Today, Friday, June 18, a bid will go in to the Government’s Levelling Up fund, which is being led by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).

Meanwhile, another bid is going in via the Department for Education Capital Transformation Funding as the college, along with South Tyneside Council, seek as much investment into the scheme as possible.

South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck and South Tyneside Council leader Councillor Tracey Dixon back the plans to seek funding to support the South Tyneside College move from the Government's Levelling Up funds.

The total cost of the plans or its location have not been revealed.

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South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck is backing the scheme alongside Jarrow MP Kate Osborne, with both given the chance to have a say in the Levelling Up scheme – Jarrow has its own £20million pot to bid for.

Ms Lewell-Buck said: “This will be an absolute game changer for the town centre.

South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck

“It would bring thousands of people, raising its footfall and is a life-changing opportunity for the town.”

Council leader Councilor Tracey Dixon said: “This is about getting the finance and funding together to help turn aspirations for the college into reality.

“Although in early stages, the proposal is an exciting and ambitious concept that could totally transform South Shields town centre and build on significant ongoing regeneration.

“We know that a high street that is centred solely around traditional retail is a thing of the past and Covid has accelerated some of the challenges and struggles town centres were already facing.

“We recognised some time ago that for our town centres to survive, and indeed thrive, they need to evolve into places where people want to live, work and visit.

“The proposals have the potential to bring thousands of people into South Shields town centre, boosting the local economy and creating a vibrant, sustainable future for the town and the wider borough.

“This would support the delivery of a number of council priorities, including creating the conditions for recovery and investment, supporting town centres, and investing in our natural and built environment.

“That is why we are working hard to explore every avenue to ensure these plans become a reality.”

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