Update about latest stage of building work

The Buddle Arts Centre at Wallsend.
The Buddle Arts Centre at Wallsend.

AN UPDATE is to be given on ongoing work to bring an historic Wallsend building back to life.

Residents will be told about the ongoing work taking place at The Buddle at the next Wallsend Area Forum meeting.

The Buddle, in Station Road, opened as a school in 1876 and was more recently used as an arts centre before its closure in 2008.

The meeting will feature a presentation by Martin Hulse, manager of the Tyne and Wear Building Preservation Trust, who will give an update on plans to bring the Buddle back into use later this year.

Mayor Linda Arkley said: “I know there are concerns among some Wallsend residents about what’s happening with the Buddle.

“Because there is no visible work under way, it might have given the impression that the building has been forgotten about.

“I can reassure people that’s not the case – there is plenty going on behind the scenes to get this building back into use.

“I’ve asked for an update to be given at the next meeting of Wallsend Area Forum and I would encourage anyone interested in finding out more to attend.”

The Buddle Arts Centre closed due to health and safety concerns as a result of failures to the electrical and heating systems in the building.

The building was marketed in 2010 but despite several groups being interested, none had the funding to carry out the works.

Last February, the council’s cabinet members agreed to transfer the building to the Tyne and Wear Building Trust.

Work to upgrade the heating and electrical system is planned to begin in 2013, and it is hoped the building will be occupied, in least in part, by the end of the year.

The Wallsend Area Forum meeting will be held at Wallsend Memorial Hall, Frank Street, on Monday, March 18, from 6pm to 8pm.