This initiative will restore Tynemouth Station to its Victorian splendour, expand its strong tradition as an arts venue of regional significance, and ensure its future is sustained. The introduction of enhanced community facilities within an urban design of exceptional quality will provide an exciting gateway to our cultural coast.
As its core, the project wishes to see the Grade II* building restored, but restored with a purpose. The project will include a new library and community facilities to the north and a new major tenant to the south. The concourse will be opened up to become a major events space for the region and could see enhanced markets, arts events, theatre and exhibitions.
A vibrant programme of arts and cultural events are proposed for the concourse.
Why Tynemouth Station?
The future of Tynemouth Station has been uncertain for many years. The condition of the canopies to this important Grade II* listed building are such that it is placed on the English Heritage Buildings at Risk register. We now have an opportunity to bid for Sea Change funding.
What is Sea Change?
Sea Change places culture at the heart of regenerating England’s seaside resorts by investing in arts, public space, cultural assets and heritage projects.
Sea Change aims to drive cultural and creative regeneration and economic growth in seaside resorts by funding inspiring, creative and innovative projects, bringing a sense of pride, enjoyment and celebration. Government funding for the revitalisation of seaside resorts is rare and very few large scale grants are available across the country with North Tyneside being the only council in the North to be invited to bid.
The very poor state of the unrestored canopies and the cost identified for their repair has brought about need for development to cross subsidise the restoration and enhancement of the concourse.
The buildings are owned by Station Developments Ltd a partnership of Millhouse Developments and North Tyneside Council. There is also strong support from English Heritage, Nexus Rail, ONE North East, Tyne
and Wear Partnership, Northern Arts, North of England Civic Trust and the Department of Museums, Libraries and Archives.
We need your support to secure the Sea Change grant.
Tynemouth Station, designed by William Bell, was built in 1882 and is considered as an outstanding Victorian railway station in the north east. In the 1960s it was surplus to requirement and fell into further disrepair. It was
Grade II listed in 1978 and gained Grade II* in 1998. It received repair work during the 1990’s for the operational areas of the station which are used by Nexus Metro Rail. However, it is currently on English Heritage’s “Buildings at Risk” register as the unused flanking areas require considerable repair work.
The design of the existing building is recognised for its extravagant decoration and ornamental ironwork of the canopies beyond. The architecture is intended to be seen from inside, from the concourse.
“An enchanted forest of ironwork with columns of petrified saplings stretching into the distance” (Lucinda Lambton 1975).
The hipped glazed bays are supported on elaborate columns, horizontal and arched trusses forming a complex radial cover for the concourse area.
The east side being longest, with 29 bays originally, has now been cropped to 23 whilst the west side retains it’s original 19 bays.
The Vision for the Station cannot be achieved without the restoration of the canopies. The restoration will cost approximately £4 million. An income is required to secure the sustainable management of the station and the new development will help to provide this.
Gateway to the Coast
Tynemouth lies on the headland between North Shields and South Shields and is ‘A jewel on the North East Coast’. It forms a gateway to the Tyneside coast of Cullercoats, Whitley Bay and South Shields. Despite the decline of industry along the Tyne it remains a relatively prosperous and attractive village with independent shops and cafes on its historic front street.
The ambition cited by all partners is to see the station restored as a vibrant gateway to the coast with a strong cultural component and a sustainable future.
The restoration of the historic fabric of the Station combined with the provision of high quality contemporary new buildings will bring a concentration of new activities within the area. The envisaged uses to be provided within the Station, and the adjacent new buildings, will complement and add to those currently available within the village. Not only will the Station complex become a vibrant new destination but it will also serve as the gateway and access point serving the coast, the village and nearby parks and greenspaces. Local communities will gain social, economic and cultural benefits from what will be an attractive and accessible destination.
Tynemouth Service Centre
Tynemouth Service Centre will provide an attractive, welcoming building located on within Tynemouth Metro Station. It will provide community library services, a Tourist Information Centre, ‘Fast Track’ Customer Service advice and housing and customer service advice by appointment. The centre will have increased opening hours compared to current library facilities, and an expanded range of stock and public access PCs.
The facility will contain:
- A community library.
- Free public access to computers and internet facilities.
- Two flexible activity spaces suitable for community meetings.
- A ‘Fast Track’ reception desk.
- Housing and customer service advice by appointment.
- Tourist Information Centre: providing a full information and advice service for visitors and residents.
- A ‘Virtual Heritage Centre’ comprising a digital archive of local studies photographs, providing electronic access to a large database of historical and contemporary photographs of the local area.
The two new buildings which constitute the complimentary development seek to recognise the primacy of the original station. Nevertheless they also seek to be beautiful in their own right. It is hoped that their location, to the north and south of the concourse, will induce people to traverse from one to the other animating the space and bringing a vibrancy so important to the regeneration of the station.
The library with the heritage centre is located to the north of the concourse and is arranged as a series of wooden ‘boxes’ is intended to evoke a poetic memory of carriages waiting in the station. The library itself will have a wonderful quality of natural light and users will be able to look out onto a new garden and the existing verdant embankment. It will be a unique building designed particularly for its location in Tynemouth.
The Anchor Tenant
This building to the south seeks to achieve everything that the library realises. Its landscaped and treed car park will be accessed from Tynemouth Road and gently slope down to the station and follow the beautiful curve of the station itself.
This project is important because it will not only restore the station’s original features but provide community resources within vibrant, contextual and contemporary buildings.
Relocation of Tynemouth library which will include:
- Extended opening hours.
- Visual heritage centre.
- Tourist Information Centre.
- People’s Network Internet suite.
- Community education room/meeting room/exhibition space
- Performance/events infrastructure.
- Additional storage.
- Additional parking.
- Sustainable technologies – natural stack ventilation, heat exchangers, sustainable drainage, highly insulated and a partial green roof.
- Double existing performance space – indoor/outdoor.
- Showcase for local artists.
- Art on the walls – monthly themed, advertised exhibitions.
- Comprehensive interpretation – railways, Tynemouth etc.
- Visual arts centre.
- New home for Tynemouth photographic club.
The project is designed both physically and financially to provide a long term sustainable solution for a building which has been for so long in need of help.