New proposals for St Mary’s Lighthouse set to go on display

An artist impression of how St Mary's Lighthouse could look if funding proposals are approved.

An artist impression of how St Mary's Lighthouse could look if funding proposals are approved.

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New plans have been unveiled to show how a popular visitor attraction could look if a funding bid proves successful.

North Tyneside Council is in the final stages of preparing a bid for £2.1million to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to secure the future of St Mary’s Lighthouse.

An artist impression of how St Mary's Lighthouse could look if funding proposals are approved.

An artist impression of how St Mary's Lighthouse could look if funding proposals are approved.

Survey and investigation work has been ongoing since last September following the award of development funding from HLF to progress the plans.

Beaumont Brown Architects have been appointed as the project design team with the latest designs, including the proposed layout of the lighthouse and images showing the building’s fresh new look, set to go on show.

Residents can find out more about the plans at Whitley Bay Customer First Centre from Wednesday where the designs will be on display for a week.

Council officers will be on hand on Tuesday, 16 May to discuss the proposals in more detail.

An artist impression of how St Mary's Lighthouse could look if funding proposals are approved.

An artist impression of how St Mary's Lighthouse could look if funding proposals are approved.

The designs will also be on display over the coming months at the lighthouse and on the council’s website www.northtyneside.gov.uk

Mayor Norma Redfearn said: “Our officers have been working hard since securing the development funding from the HLF to progress these designs before we submit our final bid.

“This is an incredibly important and exciting time for St Mary’s Lighthouse because if we are awarded this money we will be able to carry out vital works to safeguard this popular landmark as a valuable community and educational resource for future generations.

“I would urge people to come along and find out about the latest plans and give your support to the bid.”

An artist impression of how St Mary's Lighthouse could look if funding proposals are approved.

An artist impression of how St Mary's Lighthouse could look if funding proposals are approved.

The proposals include restoring the lighthouse tower and former keeper’s cottages as well as rebuilding the original optic (light) to create a fascinating new feature for visitors to enjoy.

New extensions will be built to provide more educational and learning facilities, an area to host exhibitions and new retail space.

There will also be two new viewing areas, updated toilets and the visitor centre area will be modernised while the interpretation/display information will be renewed to enhance the visitor experience.

An activity plan featuring various educational and heritage themed events will run alongside – and following the completion of – the capital works, including celebrations to mark the 120th anniversary of the lighthouse.

The project is a major part of the council’s £36million Seafront Master Plan for Whitley Bay to breathe new life into the stretch of coastline between Cullercoats Bay and St Mary’s Island.

As part of the lighthouse funding bid a drive is also underway to recruit a number of volunteers to help in various ways, including maintenance, preservation and decision-making on heritage and environmental issues.

Further information about the new Friends of St Mary’s Lighthouse Group will be available during the exhibition or contact the lighthouse team on (0191) 200 8650 or email stmaryslighthouse@northtyneside.gov.uk