Jarrow Town Hall revamp and new facilities approved by councillors

Plans to secure the future of Jarrow’s historic town hall have been given the green light.

Jarrow Town Hall
Jarrow Town Hall

South Tyneside Council submitted an application to its own planning authority in 2019 to refurbish the Edwardian listed building.

This included removing IT telecom and electrical equipment and reinstalling cables into walls, some window refurbishments, and internal redecoration.

Two vacant rooms formerly used for record storage / office space for South Tyneside Homes will also be upgraded to make way for the council’s Occupational Health Service.

Jarrow Town Hall

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Other improvements include damp-proofing works in internal walls and replacing some ceilings/ radiators.

Last month, council planners approved the plans which aim to preserve the site and reduce the council’s carbon footprint.

A decision report reads: “The works form part of a larger council wide programme to rationalise office space within the building, designed to secure the immediate future of this designated heritage asset.

“As amended, the new wiring for the IT and electrical equipment would be routed in both new high and low level trunking and a ceiling mounted conduit, in order to limit the scale of intervention and prevent harm to the original historic fabric of the building.”

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Jarrow Town Hall

It adds: “The refurbishment and redecoration work is designed to preserve the remaining historic architectural features of the building, including all original doors, architraves, frieze rails, dado rails, skirtings and cornices.”

Cabinet member for Resources and Innovation on the council, Ed Malcolm, previously said the revamp would “improve the overall energy efficiency of the building.”

Jarrow Town Hall was designed by South Shields architect Fred Rennoldson and dates back to 1902. It’s foundation stone was laid by Lady Palmer, wife of Sir Charles Mark Palmer, a shipbuilder and politician.

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It was also the starting point of the Jarrow Crusade in 1936 which saw hundreds from the town march to London in a protest over lack of jobs in the area.

A plaque in council chamber commemorates the decision taken there to organise the march.

Historic England’s documentation on the building highlights the "bright red brick and bright red glazed terracotta”, baroque-style Welsh slate roof and design of the three-storey tower.

Its balustrade, baroque dormer, corner turret and entrance bay are among other features mentioned.