Plans to secure future of historic Jarrow Town Hall

Plans to revamp parts of Jarrow Town Hall have been lodged with council planners.

Thursday, 19th December 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Thursday, 19th December 2019, 10:59 am

The application, by South Tyneside Council, is asking for listed building permission to refurbish the civic space.

This includes 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 repurposed to make way for the council’s occupational health service.

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Jarrow Town Hall

Coun Ed Malcolm, lead member for resources and innovation, believes the changes will have several benefits.

“This application seeks to modernise the office accommodation within the beautiful and historic Jarrow Town Hall,” he said.

“This will allow us to accommodate greater numbers of council staff and improve the overall energy efficiency of the building.”

A Design, Access and Heritage report adds the project would “secure the future of Jarrow Town Hall.”

The building was originally 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.

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 highlights the building’s "bright red brick and bright red glazed terracotta”, baroque-style Welsh slate roof and three-storey tower which has a “deep semi-circular hood corbelled out from pilasters”.

A balustrade, baroque dormer in the roof, arches in a corner turret and three-storey entrance bay are among other features mentioned by the agency.

Refurbishment plans are currently under consultation with the borough’s planning authority.

Other upgrades include damp-proofing works and a new security door system with an ‘audio visual link’ in the customer services area.

Public comments can be made until Thursday, January 2 by writing to the council.