• Sun. Mar 3rd, 2024

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CapturePlans to bring an historical South Tyneside building back into use are moving forward thanks to a grant boost from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

The £580,000 awarded to the Tyne & Wear Building and Preservation Trust, thanks to National Lottery players, will help to restore the derelict St Hilda’s Colliery Headstock building in South Shields and bring it back into use.

It is proposed that the Grade II Listed building, which is owned by South Tyneside Council, be transformed into business start-up accommodation through a partnership with the Trust, in turn helping to address issues around the physical condition of the building and ensuring it can be preserved it for the future.

Welcoming the news, Councillor Alan Kerr, Deputy Leader of South Tyneside Council with responsibility for Culture and Leisure, said: “This is wonderful news for South Tyneside.

“We are very proud of our rich mining heritage and this project provides us with an opportunity to restore a significant historical asset and give it a new lease of life.  We are delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund is supporting the Council and its partners to safeguard this building for the future, making it more sustainable in the longer term and helping us to meet one of our key priorities of economic growth.”

St Hilda’s Colliery opened in 1810 and continued until 1940 when it was closed and used only as a ventilation shaft for the new Westoe Colliery built in 1910. This led to a steady demolition of the surrounding buildings, with the pumping station in Station Road the only building left standing today.

It is one of very few physical remains of mining heritage within the former Durham coalfield.

The funding will help to restore the building with the intention of renting units to small businesses once completed, helping to generate income for future maintenance and make the building more sustainable.

Space will also be created within the building to display mining memorabilia, artefacts, photographs and banners, paying tribute to the Borough’s mining past thanks to the support of the Harton & Westoe Miners Banner Group.

Peter Fall, Chairman of Tyne & Wear Building Preservation Trust, which secured the funding, said: “We are delighted that St Hilda’s can now be restored and brought back into use. Coal is such a key part of the region’s identity and the Trust has been working hard to protect what little remains of this once vibrant industry. This funding approval from the Heritage Lottery Fund is a huge step forward and the support from South Tyneside Council has been crucial.”

In addition to the HLF grant, the Council is contributing around £60,000 towards the project’s overall costs of £812,000. The project is also being supported by the Architectural Heritage Fund, which funded early feasibility work to examine the potential reuse of the building.

Ian Morrison, Chief Executive of the Architectural Heritage Fund, said: “The Architectural Heritage Fund is delighted that its early investment in this project has paid off. Our grants enabled the Trust to carry out essential planning work and develop a successful Heritage Enterprise bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund.

“We continue to support the Trust’s efforts to bring this important piece of the North East’s coal mining heritage back into use, providing opportunities for new businesses and jobs.”

It is hoped that works would start on the building as early as 2017

By admin