Artwork helps to mark the end of centre’s £500,000 refurbishment

Fine Art students from TyneMet College.with their work in the Beacon Shopping Centre in North Shields.'Picture by Jane Coltman
Fine Art students from TyneMet College.with their work in the Beacon Shopping Centre in North Shields.'Picture by Jane Coltman

Artwork has gone on display as part of the celebrations marking the end of a £500,000 refurbishment at a shopping centre.

Students at TyneMet College have produced the contemporary paintings now on display at the Beacon Shopping Centre in North Shields.

A special ceremony was held to mark the launch of the centre’s new identity and completion of the refurbishment, with the artists holding mini-workshops for those interesting in learning painting techniques.

Included in the upgrades by NewRiver Retail, owner of the centre, are new lighting, new heating systems above all external doors, new flooring, new signage and revived identity.

The iconic clock tower has also been restored with new cladding and the external walls have been fitted with new buff cladding.

Emma Mackenzie, director at NewRiver Retail, said: “By modernising the look and feel of The Beacon, we have invested in the future of the shopping centre and North Shields.

“The refurbishment has really given the centre a face-lift and the enhancements will provide an enhanced shopping offer for our customers.”

David Menzies, centre manager, said: “We are excited to showcase the unique collection of art produced by the students at TyneMet College as it is representative of the artistic flair that exists within our community.

“The Beacon takes pride in being able to provide young artists with a platform to display some of their best work, bringing this diverse and vibrant gallery of paintings, as well as their talent and skills, to the community of North Shields.”

Dr John O’Rourke, art teacher at TyneMet College’s Creative Studios, said: “Our students have stunning art portfolios, and they are absolutely thrilled about the opportunity to have some of their work on display.”

“Being from the area, the centre holds a very special place in our hearts. As a local institution, we are really pleased to have the kind of support that has come from our partnership with the Beacon in the community.”

Fred Wilson, one of the HND Fine Art students whose work will be exhibited at The Beacon, said: “I am really looking forward to the exhibit and grateful to The Beacon for giving me this platform.

“It is such a fantastic feeling to know that my work will be seen by all the visitors to the centre and become part of a venue that is so central to the community.”