Work starts on creating a new £2.2m quay at former shipyard

The former Benton Way Bridge has been removed in readiness for the new structure.
The former Benton Way Bridge has been removed in readiness for the new structure.

Work has begun to reinstate a working quay at a former shipyard site in the borough.

A £2.2m project is under way at the old Swan Hunter site in Wallsend to carry out major repairs to the quay wall as well as the removal of a disused welfare building and former pump house.

The quay has taken a lot of knocks over the years and combined with the harsh marine environment needs substantial work.

Southbay’s managing director, Paul Stephenson

Once complete, the facility, which will include a fixed crane, will boost the potential of the Swans site to manufacturing firms looking to move to North Tyneside.

The new quay, to be managed by North Tyneside Council, is set to be ready by late summer.

The quay repair works are being carried out by North Shields-based Southbay Civil Engineering Limited.

Southbay’s managing director, Paul Stephenson, said: “We are delighted to be working with North Tyneside Council on this historic site and be in involved in the development of the next section of quay.

“Our specialist skills in marine civil engineering mean we have exactly the right personnel on the doorstep to carry out the type of work involved.

“The quay has taken a lot of knocks over the years and combined with the harsh marine environment needs substantial work. We look forward to seeing the scheme complete along with the whole Swans, bringing excellent work opportunities to the area.”

The Swans site is part of the North Bank of the Tyne Low Carbon Enterprise Zone with more than £100m being invested to develop it as a hub for firms linked to advanced engineering, marine, renewable and subsea sectors.

Work is also underway providing a key entry to the site, with Benton Way Bridge identified as the heavy load access point for Heavy Goods Vehicles.

The former bridge, which had traffic restrictions due to deterioration, is being replaced with a stronger and wider structure so it can carry the expected traffic.

The work is being carried out by Capita on behalf of North Tyneside Council, and is due for completion this summer.

Capita have already successfully removed the old bridge and a new deck will be introduced so the new bridge can carry a heavier weight of vehicle.