Now that the local council elections are concluded, residents of Whitley Bay may be reassured at the news that the final funding from Heritage Lottery has been granted to North Tyneside Council for the onward workings at the Dome, and hopefully we can look forward to seeing a finished product in the future.
It would be welcomed if the council could produce a time-line of this work schedule and proposed completion dates so we can, as long-suffering residents, start to believe that Whitley Bay may have a future and the Dome area be functional after all the years of wishing and hoping we have endured.
However, Whitley Bay councillors need to turn their energies urgently to the town centre, which badly needs attention, with empty premises peppering the west side of Park View, opposite Barclays Bank. These units could be modernised to attract businesses. Whitley Bay is left with a handful of established good businesses in Park View, and these are holding up the rest of the town as charity shops fill some of the vacant premises.
South Parade, apparently, is going to see the bar Easy Street refurbished. I hope this happens swiftly and it may be tidied up and functional again. The corner where this sits has been a repository for rubbish and litter. It is pleasing to see that the new owners have now cleared the frontage.
Also, residents are hoping that work will commence again on the lower promenade, then the railings can be dismantled and the replacement balustrades erected.
There are so many unfinished sites. We understand that sites are being redeveloped along the seafront, but a time-line of when they will be completed is something that could be conveyed to the public via Our North Tyneside Council magazine, which I believe comes out quarterly.
We also hear that the Briardene public house is to be a fish restaurant and signs of this refurbishment will also be very welcome. This is a prominent site and standing in its current condition it is not a good advertisement for a north east seaside town. This is a private development, but I feel some pressure could be put on the developers to give some indication of when this project will be started and an approximate opening date
Please, elected councillors for Whitley Bay, try to get the town back on track.