'Weathered' South Shields coat of arms to be replaced on The Customs House
South Tyneside Council’s planning department has approved an application for works to the Grade II-listed Customs House in South Shields.
This includes replacing the circular South Shields Coat of Arms on the original front of the building to safeguard its history for future generations.
The coat of arms was the crest for the Borough of South Shields from 1850 up until the 1970s when the Borough of South Tyneside was established with its own crest.
It was designed by poet and artist Robinson Elliott and features the motto of courage, humanity and commerce.
A heritage statement submitted to local authority planners confirmed finer features of the coat of arms have “weathered away” over the years due to exposure to the elements.
Plans to replace the feature were seen as the best option, with repairs ruled out due to the “level of corrosion”.
After assessing the application, South Tyneside Council’s planning department granted listed building consent on Thursday, October 13.
The Customs House has also secured funding from the SUEZ Communities Trust for the restoration works, which are due to be completed next year.
Ray Spencer, executive director at The Customs House, said: “We believe the history of South Shields should be preserved for future generations and celebrated by the local community.
“If the coat of arms continued to weather it was at risk of being lost, which would be a great tragedy for the people of South Shields.
“We are delighted that SUEZ Communities Trust have supported our funding application and enabled this important part of our town’s heritage to be made prominent once again.
“We are also grateful to the private individual from a family of Tyne Pilots, who provided a percentage of matched funding”.
Marek Gordon, chairman of SUEZ Communities Trust, added: “SUEZ Communities Trust provides funding awards through the Landfill Communities Fund.
“We were delighted to be able to offer funding to The Customs House Trust Ltd.”
The coat of arms is expected to be restored to its former glory in Spring 2023.
Details of the planning application can be found on South Tyneside Council’s online planning portal under reference: ST/0557/22/LBC