Work set to get underway on centrepiece of South Shields 365 revamp as contractor is revealed

The library entrance of The Word, the North East Centre for the Written Word, which is to be built in South Shields.
The library entrance of The Word, the North East Centre for the Written Word, which is to be built in South Shields.

THE name of the contractor which will be responsible for bringing The Word to South Shields has today been revealed.

Bowmer and Kirkland has been appointed by South Tyneside Council and developer Muse to undertake the construction of the town’s new library and digital media centre.

We’re confident Bowmer and Kirkland will deliver the high-quality build the town deserves, which will help maximise its potential.

Coun John Anglin

A national contractor with a regional base in Sunderland, it has undertaken many projects in the North East.

They include Quadrus at Boldon, the new Trinity Square in Gateshead and various buildings at Cobalt Business Park in North Tyneside.

Construction of The Word, the North East Centre for the Written Word, is the first phase of the wider redevelopment of South Shields town centre as part of the 365 masterplan.

The 365 plan will transform the town, increasing the shopping and leisure on offer as well as improving the way people travel to, from and around the town.

The Word 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.

As well as the construction of a three-storey building near Ferry Street on the Riverside, 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.

Work is set to begin imminently, with the aim of the building being open to the public in late 2016.

Coun John Anglin, lead member for regeneration and economy, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Bowmer and Kirkland on to our exciting regeneration project.

“They are a locally-based company and their appointment will help create job opportunities for people across the region and use local subcontractors wherever possible.

“We’re confident Bowmer and Kirkland will deliver the high-quality build the town deserves, which will help maximise its potential.”

David Wells, development director at Muse Developments, said: “We are very pleased to have appointed Bowmer and Kirkland as our main contractor on The Word.

“We have worked with them on many projects and they have a proven record of delivering a high-quality product.

“Once complete, The Word will be a superb, modern high-tech facility which, together with the improvements in the Market Place, will be the first stage in reinforcing South Shields town centre as a place to visit for both shopping and leisure.”

Bowmer and Kirkland regional director Alan Johansen said: “It is a real honour for us to be involved in this prestigious project.

“Our experience in delivering many other regeneration schemes in the North East enables us to provide a construction team that will work hand in hand with all stakeholders to ensure a smooth delivery and a project that we can all be proud of.”