Thousands more people expected to move into South Shields - with town centre housing set to play a part
Fresh housing regeneration plans could see thousands of new residents settling in South Shields – including potential for apartments in the high street and housing on the former library site.
With the impact of Covid-19 accelerating retail decline, revised plans have shifted focus towards more residential and leisure opportunities, attracting local and regional businesses and creating cleaner, greener public spaces.
Housing forms a key part of the regeneration plans, including strategic sites such as Holborn Riverside where more than 350 homes are proposed.
The council has secured £6million from the Future High Streets Fund to acquire land and property needed to facilitate the delivery of up to 200 new homes within walking distance of the town centre.
For South Tyneside Council, the new housing will form a key part of efforts to increase footfall and prosperity in South Shields.
At Holborn alone, regeneration bosses estimate that the proposed housing will lead to 1,300 new residents ‘on the doorstep’ of the town centre.
Meanwhile, new apartments and family homes on sites facilitated by the council elsewhere in South Shields are expected bring in another 1,000 residents.
Projects contributing to this could include housing on the former Central Library site set for demolition and a ‘reimagined’ Fowler Street, alongside other sites in the pipeline.
Regeneration bosses also hope that council-led regeneration work will “stimulate” other investors and housing providers to create more accommodation in South Shields.
This includes new housing, conversions to existing buildings and more apartments above existing premises.
Councillor Mark Walsh, cabinet member for regeneration and economy, said regeneration plans for South Shields aimed to build on the town’s heritage and natural assets.
“We can play on those natural assets that we have already got and how we mix that together and it’s about greening up the area and making it attractive for residents to go down there,” he explained.
“We know that the traditional high street isn’t going to come back in the way people think it’s going to come back.
“When we looked at what we wanted to do in South Shields it’s about making that residential offer and improving it and the hospitality and tying it all together.
“We [the council] don’t own much of King Street but in the places that we will have control and influence over, we will do our best to nudge the market and encourage people to come in and build high-end apartments.”
Housing development at Holborn Riverside is also expected to have a positive economic impact on the town’s leisure, hospitality and arts and culture sectors.
Cllr Walsh added: “We’re looking to offer high-quality homes right on the riverside that will link in with the town centre.
“We’re going to have to look at all the infrastructure around there in terms of roads and networks – which has all been flagged up.
“But I’m confident that what we can offer will really enhance the whole of the town centre and what’s going to be available down there.”
If approved, the college move would boost footfall to the town centre with more than 9,000 students.