Demolition work has started to clear the way for a new transport interchange.
Excavators have moved in to pull down the former post office and Royal Mail building and the former Dawson and Sanderson travel agents, in Keppel Street, South Shields.
The work, which will take around three months, is part of stage two of South Tyneside Council's £100m regeneration masterplan and will be followed the construction of the new bus interchange and relocated Metro station.
Council leader Councillor Iain Malcolm said: “Phase Two of our masterplan is gathering pace and people will start to see physical changes happening around the town now.
“We’ve got hundreds of thousands of new visitors attracted to the town centre, thanks to The Word and our other regeneration successes on the Foreshore and Riverside.
“Creating a high quality sense of arrival; enhanced public transport facilities and improved connectivity is crucial.”
The council will be working alongside its development partner, Muse Developments, and Nexus to develop the interchange.
David Wells, regional director at Muse Developments, said: “The demolitions are a major step to clear the way for the construction of the transport interchange.
"It’s a complex project for which the background work has been going on for many months so it’s great to see the construction phase now getting closer.
“The end result will be a superb and modern public transport facility that will benefit both local residents and visitors alike.”
Planning permission was granted last year for the transport interchange as well as outline planning permission for a new retail and leisure development as phase three.
Nexus managing director Tobyn Hughes, said: “These demolitions mark the start of the work to provide South Shields with a modern and vibrant new bus and Metro interchange, which we believe will help attract more people to the town centre for shopping and leisure.
“We are excited to be working alongside South Tyneside Council and its partners to deliver this project, which will see Metro and bus facilities in South Shields transformed alongside the rest of the town centre.”
Bowmer and Kirkland, the company which helped deliver The Word in phase one of the masterplan, has been appointed demolition contractor.
The project received £9.4m from the Local Growth Deal through the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
The Local Growth Deal is supporting major capital investments to promote innovation, economic and skills infrastructure and sustainable transport across the North East LEP area.