Spanish City regeneration work praised by visitors

Work being carried out at Spanish City in Whitley Bay.Picture Jane Coltman
Work being carried out at Spanish City in Whitley Bay.Picture Jane Coltman

Visitors have praised the ongoing work to restore a former visitor attraction to its former glory.

More than 150 people enjoyed a first-hand look at the changes taking place inside the Spanish City Dome in Whitley Bay.

The new look ballustrades inside the Dome at Whitley Bay's Spanish City.

The new look ballustrades inside the Dome at Whitley Bay's Spanish City.

North Tyneside Council, in partnership with Robertson Construction and architecture firm ADP, held a number of guided hard hat and photography tours last Friday and Saturday.

It was the last round of public tours to take place before the building reopens next summer as a unique, new visitor destination.

A total of 24 tours have taken place since restoration work began last autumn, with more than 450 people securing a spot.

Mayor Norma Redfearn said: “When we set out on this journey we wanted as many people as possible to witness the progress being made for themselves as we know how important the Dome is to everybody.

The latest tour group is taken through the Spanish City Dome to see work progressing.

The latest tour group is taken through the Spanish City Dome to see work progressing.

“I am delighted that we have managed to offer tours while the work has been taking place and I would like to thank our partners, Robertson and ADP, for their help in making them happen.

“Every single tour has been a huge success, everyone has been so complimentary and got so much out of it – like most people, I just can’t wait to see the work finished and the building restored to its former glory before reopening next summer.”

During the latest round of tours, groups were able to see recent changes, including new paintwork inside and outside and progress of the new east and west extensions with floor-to-ceiling windows providing spectacular views.

One of the participants, Alison Spedding, of North Shields, said: “I was delighted to have been selected from over 1,000 applicants for the latest round of tours of the Dome.

New glazing installed on the first floor of the Spanish City Dome.

New glazing installed on the first floor of the Spanish City Dome.

“It’s great that the Dome is being restored and developed in such a spectacular way – and I was greatly impressed with the lengths that they are going to in order to retain some of the original features.

“The opening up from the floor to the top of the Dome will restore the Rotunda to its original state and will be a fantastic space.

“The tour was extremely interesting and I was really pleased to hear that most of the materials and labour are being sourced locally as far as possible.

“I honestly can’t wait for the Dome to open and see what a fantastic job has been done with the building.”

Work is progressing on regenerating the Spanish City Dome in Whitley Bay. Picture by Alison Spedding.

Work is progressing on regenerating the Spanish City Dome in Whitley Bay. Picture by Alison Spedding.

North Tyneside Council, in partnership with Robertson Construction and architecture firm ADP, is carrying out a major £10million restoration of the building.

Work got underway in September 2016 after a £3.47million National Lottery grant was secured from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

The restoration is due for completion in late spring 2018.

Following completion of works, the venue will be run by Kymel Trading Ltd as a collection of leisure facilities, including a fine dining seafood restaurant and champagne and oyster bar with floor-to-ceiling windows.

There will be event space for weddings, corporate events and parties as well as traditional tearooms, a family-friendly fish and chip restaurant and takeaway and an ice-cream parlour.

A range of public events will also be held, such as fairs, cinema screenings, tea dances and seasonal events.

New paint being applied to the inside of the Dome at Spanish City.

New paint being applied to the inside of the Dome at Spanish City.