Readers have final say on the one-million visitor Word
Gazette readers have little but praise for a landmark building in South Shields which has just welcomed its one millionth visitor.
The Word in the Market Place hit the magic number over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend - to borrow books, visit exhibitions or take part in an a range of programme of events and workshops since it opened in October 2016.
Tania Robinson, head of culture at The Word, said the centre is achieving its aim to be a top cultural venue and library for the 21st century.
“One million visitors was always a huge milestone for us,” she said.
“That we reached it almost exactly when we had hoped to, shows that people from South Tyneside and beyond have really engaged with the venue and are inspired by what we are doing here.”
Gazette readers agree - and have taken to our Facebook page to say so.
Lynne Thompson wrote: “I love The Word but we need to make the walk between the sea and the Market more pleasant. It’s an eyesore! Our town had so much unrecognised potential.
Eddie Czestochowski of South Shields Chess Club, added: “It’s a great venue and always seems to well used during school holidays. We use on a Saturday to teach chess to kids and anyone else that wants to play. It’s much more than just a library for books.”
Darren Lynton wrote: “A great place. A fantastic resource for schools too. I’m often there with my class using the state of the art facilities.”
Lynn Taylor added: “I like The Word. Its cool. My daughter loves it.”
Alan Stewart wrote: “Great place a great edition to the town.”
and Ste Dixon added: “Lovely building. An asset to Shields.”
Not everyone is convinced though.
David Napier wrote: “You still can’t beat the old library that was on Ocean Road. I spent many a happy hour when I was a kid sitting reading in the reference library.
“That place was full of atmosphere.”
Artie Carhart said: “A lot of wasted space with the the staircase’s taking most of it. Also not many places to sit and read when in the library.”