Robots called in to help on Spanish City Dome restoration

Robertson project team Andrew Coleman, Chris Price and Dave Oxley begin main works on Whitley Bays Spanish City Dome. Picture by Martin Avery Photography.
Robertson project team Andrew Coleman, Chris Price and Dave Oxley begin main works on Whitley Bays Spanish City Dome. Picture by Martin Avery Photography.

Special robots have been brought in to help with the restoration on an iconic landmark.

The ten construction workers at the Spanish City in Whitley Bay have been joined by the ‘robots’.

Robertson North East is working with North Tyneside Council to bring the structure back to its former glory.

Project manager Andrew Coleman said: “A lot of the work on the Spanish City has been done by hand to date due to the importance we have placed on conserving original fixtures.

“We’ve been working very closely with a conservation architects from ADP and North Tyneside Council to identify key fixtures like the ornate cornicing and wall mouldings which were hidden behind plasterboard.

“We’ve even gone as far as to call in expert craftsmen to recreate some of the original plaster work because it’s part of the building’s original character.

“Now that we’ve identified these details, we are in a position where we can focus on bringing in technology to perform essential works, such as abrasive blasting and remote demolition, which will be used on the main structure which in turn will allow the project team to transform the look of the building bring it back to its original appearance.

“Due to the nature and location of the works, where possible we will use Brokks (remote controlled demolition robots) which will allow the works to be carried out in a safe, controlled manner.

“The fact that we don’t have a man inside them means that the operator can stand at a safe distance and reach areas within the structure that would prove very challenging otherwise.”

Mark Robinson, Scape Group chief executive, said: “The restoration of Whitley Bay’s Spanish City Dome, procured through Scape Group’s National Major Works framework, is an excellent example of innovation in action.

“It is incredibly important that the construction industry drives to develop immersive technologies – such as the ‘demolition robots’ – in order to ensure a high tech, highly productive and safe construction industry.”

“It is also fantastic to see the very latest methods being used to protect and preserve the heritage of this unique building.”

Robertson expects to conclude the first phase of work by spring 2018 when the Grade II listed building will be handed over to commercial operator Kymel Trading Ltd to run as a high-quality leisure, wedding and conferencing venue.

The second phase will involve an internal fit out by Kymel with the aim of opening in 2018.

For more information on Robertson Group visit www.robertson.co.uk.

For more information about North Tyneside Council’s £36m Seafront Master Plan to regenerate the coastline at Whitley Bay, visit http://my.northtyneside.gov.uk/category/642/coastal-regeneration

For more information on Scape Group and the Scape Major Works Framework, visit www.scapegroup.co.uk