Landmark South Shields building set for a revamp

Tarpaulins cover  the landmark BT exchange in Crossgate.
Tarpaulins cover the landmark BT exchange in Crossgate.

A landmark building in South Tyneside is hoping to get a ringing endorsement.

Scaffolding and green tarpaulin have gone up outside the BT exchange in Crossgate, South Shields - which is responsible for the majority of the town’s telephone and broadband services.

The grey building had started to look worse for wear in recent years after being purchased by the telephone company in 1957.

But now bosses say repairs are being carried out and there will also be cosmetic improvements - including a full external refresh.

Work is expected to finish in early March.

A BT spokesman said: “The BT exchange building on Crossgate is currently undergoing repairs and cosmetic improvements.

“This includes some concrete repairs and protective coatings as well as a full external refresh. Work began just before Christmas and is expected to take until early March.

“BT purchased the building in 1957 and extended it in 1974. As a working exchange the building houses the ‘engine room’ for the majority of phone and broadband services in South Shields.”

In 2012 the exchange was enabled for superfast broadband.

Since then hundreds of kilometres of underground fibre optic cables have be laid and 58 new greet street cabinets built as part of BT’s commercial roll-out of fibre broadband.

Around 23,000 homes and business across South Shields can now access the faster broadband speeds.

The new network is open so households and businesses can choose services from a wide range of providers.