Work complete on new South Shields job centre in Mile End Road - facility to go live later this year
Work is now complete on the new job centre which developers say is a key part of regenerating South Shields town centre.
South Tyneside Council chiefs said the proposals would free up land in a key development area of the town centre for the next stage of the 365 vision for the shopping area.
The new building is now complete on the site of the former multi-storey car park, which was served as a more rough-and-ready parking in recent years.
The project was carried out by Muse Developments, the council and contractor GMI Construction Group.
Developers say it will house 65 staff from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), bringing ‘a range of services to help people of working age find work, claim benefits, as well as specialist support for those with disabilities’.
Andrew Fairest, project director at Muse Developments, said: “Completing the relocated Jobcentre safely, despite the challenges surrounding the pandemic, is testament to the hard work of our tenacious team and of course our partners."Its delivery is a key piece of the jigsaw, which will unlock the opportunity for us to bring forward future phases of the wider masterplan, driving further investment and opportunities to benefit the South Shields community."
He added the building also had excellent eco-friendly credentials as part of efforts to drive down carbon emissions in the borough.
Steve Martin, a senior operations manager for the DWP, said: “This will be an exciting new opportunity to continue to support our local customers and employers in South Shields.
"It is great that we will be able to continue to deliver our support in the heart of the town centre and play our part in supporting the continuing expansion of local labour market developments alongside our partners.”
The construction team said more than £2.1million had been spent with local materials providers and subcontractors, with seven local people also gaining employment from the scheme.
Cllr Tracey Dixon, leader of South Tyneside Council, said: “This is another exciting milestone in the ongoing regeneration of South Shields town centre.
"This building is complete and will now be fitted out to allow the new facility to go live and the old job centre to close later this year.”
She added: “Following on from our major schemes like our multi-award-winning cultural venue, The Word, and our state of the art transport interchange, we’re creating the conditions and infrastructure to generate private-sector interest and investment
“Now we’re continuing to build on those foundations to develop a diverse offer and create a thriving town centre with local people at the heart of that vision.”
Lee Powell, divisional managing director at GMI Construction Group, added: “We’re delighted to have completed our most recent project for our long-standing client Muse. Despite the challenges faced due to the pandemic, our team have delivered a key part of South Shields’ masterplan on behalf of partners.”
Muse said the ongoing regeneration of the town centre is being delivered through a ‘close collaboration between Muse and South Tyneside Council’.