Council still in talks over Dome ownership

Whitley Bay Spanish City Dome.'REF 2808136149
Whitley Bay Spanish City Dome.'REF 2808136149

Talks are still continuing over the ownership of all buildings on an iconic site to ensure a major regeneration plan can continue.

Officials at North Tyneside Council are still working to ensure full ownership of the Spanish City Dome in a bid to secure lottery funding.

A total of £3.6m from the Heritage Lottery Fund is available to restore the site and bring it back into use.

However, the council needs full ownership of the Grade II-listed building before submitted the Stage 2 bid for funding.

The site is a key part in the Whitley Bay Seafront Masterplan, with the council working with the Heritage Lottery Fund and Coastal Communities Fund to bring the iconic site back into use for the local community.

The council is hoping restoration can be completed by 2016, and the plans went on show to the public before Christmas for public feedback.

And to ensure it has full ownership of the Dome site, the council is currently in talks with Carlton Clubs Ltd.

The bingo club owns the bingo hall, in the former Empress Ballroom, which historically was part of the overall Spanish City site.

The Council is currently working with the firm to reach an agreement over some areas between the two buildings and some historical rights of access; this will enable the Council to secure full ownership of the building and ensure everything is in place for the next stage of the Heritage Lottery Funding application process.

Mayor Norma Redfearn said: “We are doing all we can to get this iconic building back into use as soon as possible and are taking all the necessary steps to secure its future.

“A restored and re-opened Spanish City Dome is integral to our regeneration plans for the seafront, and will bring huge benefits to residents, visitors and businesses in Whitley Bay - including Carlton Bingo.”

The council’s £30m masterplan includes plans to reinvigorate the coastline from St Mary’s Lighthouse to Cullercoats Bay, including a mix of council and private sector developments.

These include plans for a £1m visitor centre at St Mary’s Headland, improvements to the Watts Slope area, the Spanish City Dome, promenade and landscaping, extra lighting and more.

There will be a new cafe built at St Mary’s Headland while the council say they will also provide improved public toilet facilities, including accessible toilets that will be available to all. An education room will also be provided.