DEMOLITION work on the century-old former offices of the Shields Gazette is gathering pace.
The three-storey building, based in Chapter Row, South Shields, is being pulled down as part of a multi-million pound revamp plan.
South Tyneside Council is spending £100m on its 365 regeneration scheme for South Shields town centre.
Once the building is torn down, a new and retail development is being earmarked for the site.
Internal stripping of the building – which dates back to 1910 – has been taking place for several weeks.
The building is being demolished section by section, with the work expected to be completed by the end of January.
A 50-tonne excavator was on site yesterday to pull down sections of the building.
Council chiefs are set to seek Compulsory Purchase Orders in the New Year to make progress with the town centre overhaul.
About 120 properties and sites will have to be bought by South Tyneside Council to allow it to press on with its ‘South Shields 365’ vision.
The council is also in talks with businesses affected by the changes over alternative sites, with an area of Simonside Industrial Estate set aside.
The first part of the 365 project will see new Central Library and Digital Media Centre, boasting an IT suite, exhibition space, a café and a rooftop restaurant and terrace. It is also planned to have a ‘pier’ walkway and viewing gallery on the first floor that will allow people to look out across the Tyne.
The new Gazette offices are at 7 Beach Road, South Shields.