Construction of new community hub in South Shields set to pick up pace

The site of the new library and digital hub near Ferry Street, South Shields.
The site of the new library and digital hub near Ferry Street, South Shields.

Construction of a new £10million library and digital hub on South Shields riverside will pick up pace early next month, a regeneration boss has revealed.

Months of work to prepare the site, near Ferry Street, for the building of the three-storey structure is almost complete.

Regeneration boss David Cramond.

Regeneration boss David Cramond.

And at the start of August a tower crane will move onto the site to allow the construction of the building to progress.

The Word, as it will be known, is the first major stage in the ‘South Shields 365’ £100million masterplan to transform the town over the next decade and beyond.

Contractors Bowmer and Kirkland were appointed by South Tyneside Council and developer Muse to undertake the construction of the complex, which will provide a library and interactive exhibition space, which aims to not only provide a home for local writing talent, but become a real community hub for the people of South Tyneside.

This phase of the redevelopment will also see improvements made to the adjoining Market Place and a new 40-space car park on vacant land at Harton Quays.

The Word will host exhibitions of national significance

David Cramond

Next week, David Cramond, the council’s corporate director of economic regeneration, will update members of the full council on the progress of the town vision.

In a report to the committee, he says: “A tower crane is due on site at the start of August to allow construction of the superstructure to progress.

“Bower and Kirkland started on site in early April. Bulk earthworks and piling work to the building are complete. Pile cropping, pile cap foundation, ground beam and under slab drainage work is ongoing. Concrete core walls and columns are also progressing.

“The Word will host exhibitions of regional and national significance and will be fully equipped with digital technologies, while still retaining the benefits of a traditional library. This will become a new hub for community and cultural activity in South Shields.”