THE first residents of a redeveloped historic building have moved into their new home.
Couple Victor Smiles and Kathleen Young are the first people to move into the redeveloped Georgian building in Northumberland Square, North Shields.
Newcastle-based social housing provider Home Group invested £1.75m converting properties on one side of Northumberland Square from unused offices into 24 homes.
Victor, 71, and Kathleen, 80, were handed the keys to their flat last week in Scott House, which has been named after former North Shields film director Tony Scott, who died in August last year.
Kathleen, a retired sheltered housing warden, said: “The last time I was in this building was when it was council offices and I was retiring.
“I never thought I’d end up living here. I’m really looking forward to it.
“The flat is really spacious and I’m pleased that we’re on the ground flood as the stairs in our previous home were becoming a bit too much for me.
“Home Group has done a really good job with the flat.”
Work to transform the offices, which had remained empty for seven years, started in February 2012 and was completed in March this year.
Ian Tallentire, Home Group director of development, said: “It has been really rewarding to meet with Victor and Kathleen and hear how much they are looking forward to living in Scott House.
“When we set out to redevelop this building in Northumberland Square we said that our aim along with the council was to bring people back to live in the heart of this historic area which would help regenerate the town.”
Home Group worked with English Heritage and conservation officers to return the listed exterior of the buildings to their former Georgian grandeur while the interior of the buildings were turned into three one-bedroom flats and 21 two-bedroom flats.