Four key properties have been bought by council chiefs to help move forward regeneration projects.
North Tyneside Council has confirmed deals have been agreed for the authority to buy three derelict buildings in Whitley Bay and a building in Wallsend to help with regeneration proposals.
Landmark property agreements are in place for the former Avenue pub and 1 Brook Street, the former Whisky Bends Public House and the former High Point Hotel on Whitley Bay seafront.
And at a cabinet meeting on Monday, members also agreed to finalise property negotiations between the council and current owner of the former Wallsend Police Station.
The deal aims to secure the future of Wallsend Town Hall as a business centre promoting serviced office accommodation, as well as deliver land for essential affordable housing in the town centre.
Mayor Norma Redfearn said: “I am delighted that North Tyneside Council can kick start the next phase of regeneration in both Whitley Bay and Wallsend through these landmark property agreements.
“I know the people in both Whitley Bay and Wallsend have been so frustrated at the delays they have had to suffer over many years and so I hope they will be delighted that they will eventually be able to see some real progress.
“Therefore we are pleased to be able to confirm that we have now taken ownership of three properties on Whitley Bay seafront and have a contract with the former owners to demolish the buildings in an agreed time limit.
“And with the cabinet’s agreement officers will now also confirm the legal contracts with the current owner of the former Wallsend Police Station in a package that will enable the Council’s former civic and administrative centre to be earmarked as a business centre promoting serviced office accommodation, and free up other town centre land for affordable housing.
“We know that the Town Hall is important to the heritage of the town and while it is no longer a part of the council’s office portfolio officers have worked very hard to ensure it remains part of Wallsend’s future.”
In Whitley Bay the other prominent derelict site on the sea-front – the land once occupied by the Alletsa Ballroom and Sylvester’s nightclub – in December was given planning approval for a development of nine town houses and five apartments.
And the council will be able to progress major refurbishment of the Spanish City Dome for leisure, retail and business enterprise use, after securing a first stage grant approval for £3.7m from the Heritage Lottery Fund for the Grade II listed building.
Work is also nearing completion on the new ‘Spanish City Plaza’ to the front of the Dome, which will provide an informal leisure and cultural entertainment area linking the building to the adjacent seafront.
In Wallsend the regeneration of Wallsend town centre will reach a key milestone in the next few weeks as the new Customer First Centre opens its doors.