South Tyneside Council largePlans to preserve and bring an historical South Tyneside building back into use will be on show for the public to view next week.

Thanks to funding awarded to the Tyne & Wear Building and preservation Trust, by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), the derelict St Hilda’s Colliery Headstock building in South Shields looks set to be transformed into business start-up accommodation through a partnership with the Trust.

Residents and those interested in renting office or workshop space in the building, including artists and creatives, are being encouraged to attend an open day at the Grade II Listed building on Tuesday 28 June, from 3pm until 6pm.

During the open day residents and businesses will be able to find out more about the proposed plans 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.

Councillor Alan Kerr, Deputy Leader of South Tyneside Council with responsibility for Culture and Leisure, said: “This is a brilliant opportunity for people to find out more about the potential sustainable future of this historic building.

“I would encourage businesses as well as residents to come along and see the plans for the workspaces in the building and to discuss the opportunities available to help the building a new lease of life.”

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 plans also include space to 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.

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, and has committed to further support in the future.

For more information contact Richard Barber, Arts and Heritage Officer at South Tyneside Council on (0191) 424 7850 or emailrichard.barber@southtyneside.gov.uk   or Martin Hulse, Trust Manager of Tyne & Wear Building Preservation Trust, on (0191) 260 2133 or emailmartin@twbpt.org.uk.