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Artistic Whitley Bay children leaving their mark on Spanish City

Pupils from Marine Park First School with the mural that will go on display in the Spanish City pictured with artist Sue Slater (back, middle).
Pupils from Marine Park First School with the mural that will go on display in the Spanish City pictured with artist Sue Slater (back, middle).

A group of schoolchildren are leaving their mark on the revamp of the Spanish City.

Year 3 pupils at Marine Park First School, in Whitley Bay, are working with local artist Sue Slater to create a mural.

Based on the old Spanish City fairground where the school now stands, the mural will go on display in the new-look Spanish City when the building reopens this summer.

Sue, who lives in Whitley Bay, said: “We’ve had groups often coming in for an hour at a time to help with the mural and we’ve done about five or six shifts already.

“My children used to go to this school and they used to go to the funfair, which they really loved and I did too.

“I just thought it was very apt that we base the mural on the funfair and it’s a nice theme for the kids to work on.”

School pupil Rosie said: “I don’t know a lot about the Dome but I’m definitely going to visit when it opens – I’m looking forward to seeing what it’s about.”

Fellow pupil Mitchell added: “The thing I’m looking forward to the most is probably going in and exploring it, and seeing what it’s like for the first time because I went with the school when it was being built but there was nothing really in, just glass and scaffolding.”

Mayor Norma Redfearn CBE said: “I’m delighted to see these young people getting involved in a creative project like this.

“These children wouldn’t have been born when the building was last open so it’s fantastic to hear how excited they are about its reopening.”

“There isn’t much longer to wait now and it’s going to be an absolutely wonderful venue for everyone in the borough and wider area.”

Stephen Easton, head teacher at Marine Park First School, said: “Our school is fortunate to occupy a prestigious coastal site in Whitley Bay; sitting in the shadow of iconic buildings and on the site of the old funfair.

“Our children have witnessed the redevelopment of Spanish City from the classroom windows and playground; our school council have visited the site regularly as work has progressed.

“We can’t wait to visit Spanish City when it opens and feel really proud and grateful that our pupils have helped make a mural that seeks to connect the past, present and future.”

North Tyneside Council, in partnership with its contractors Robertson Construction and appointed designers ADP, are carrying out a major revamp of the Spanish City to bring it back to life as a high-quality fine dining and leisure venue.

It comes after the authority invested £4m and also secured a Coastal Communities Fund grant of more than £2.5m and £3.47m from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).