MP COLUMN: Preserving our community assets
Although we remain locked down and waiting for the day we can return to some sort of normality via vaccines and mass testing, I am very pleased to report that some welcome action is already being taken to preserve our community assets.
Historic England has awarded North Tyneside Council £900,000 through the High Street Heritage Action Zone programme to help North Shields recover from declining footfall and the impact of the pandemic.
North Tyneside council is adding nearly £1million to several projects to revitalise the Conservation Area that includes Howard Street and Northumberland Square.
They include some of the best parts of North Shields’ Georgian and Victorian town centre with some strikingly elegant buildings and public spaces. The area links up the newly regenerated Fish Quay with the town centre.
We will see fewer alterations made in the 1960s and 1970s that are unsympathetic to the historic setting while several vacant properties will be rehabilitated.
All this could make the area a thriving quarter of the town with housing as well as cultural and leisure activities in redesignated premises on Howard Street that could make the area a destination for all.
The scheme also includes creating a community cultural consortium to develop a programme of events and activities, involving local artists and creative practitioners.
The High Street Heritage Action Zone will form part of the emerging North Shields master plan – aimed at transforming the town centre and riverside into an environment where more people choose to live, work, and spend their leisure time.
It is a good start to making sure our high street is better than before.
Mary Glindon, North Tyneside MP