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Spanish City is the ‘Tunnel of Love’ for Charlotte and Lewis


Oct 2, 2018

A bride and groom-to-be are preparing to become the first happy couple to tie the knot in the newly-restored Spanish City.

Charlotte Oxnard and her fiancé Lewis Parkin, from Whitley Bay, were struggling to find the dream venue for their big day after getting engaged in 2016.

Charlotte had always been familiar with the iconic Dome having grown up in the town, but the idea of having her wedding there had always seemed like nothing more than a fantasy.

She said: “While there are plenty of magical venues around the coast, nowhere appealed for the type of wedding we wanted.

“The famous Dome had been under restoration for as long as I could remember and as soon as I heard it was reopening after 18 years I knew we had to enquire.

“I was aware of the Dome but didn’t know much about it. It wasn’t until I began exploring the heritage that I understood how important it was, and still is, to the town.”

North Tyneside Council’s Spanish City restoration scheme was completed in July. Alongside its own investment the council also secured £3.47m from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) as well as more than £2m from the Coastal Communities Fund. The council’s restoration project was carried out in partnership with contractors Robertson Construction and appointed designers ADP.

The building is run by Spanish City (NE) Ltd as a collection of leisure facilities, including family-friendly venues, a high-quality steak and seafood restaurant, tearooms, event spaces and a champagne bar.

The scheme was central to North Tyneside Council’s ambitious £36m Seafront Master Plan to breathe new life into the coast between Cullercoats Bay and St Mary’s Island.

Lewis, 30, and Charlotte, 31, went along to the hugely successful Spanish City opening weekend, which was attended by nearly 16,000 people, and knew then and there that it was the perfect place to say ‘I do’.

“We walked around the St Mary’s Lighthouse suite imagining marrying here with our friends and family,” Charlotte said.

“The view is spectacular and we thought what better backdrop to get married against?”

Not wanting to waste any time, they booked a date on the spot – but with only two months to plan before the big day on November 3 time schedules have been tight.

She added: “We did think, are we mad trying to organise a wedding in two months, but the events team have been great and suppliers such as the photographer and DJ are looking forward to being part of the first ever Spanish City ceremony.

“We can’t wait to celebrate our marriage in such an iconic setting. While we are the only couple to get married at the Dome in 2018, we can’t wait to see what others do in the future and we wish them all the best.”

Norma Redfearn CBE, Elected Mayor of North Tyneside, said: “I am absolutely delighted that the first wedding is taking place at Spanish City.

“It is such a high-class venue which has been beautifully and sympathetically restored and I wish Charlotte and Lewis all the very best for their big day and a long and happy marriage.

“We are incredibly proud of our work to restore and transform the Dome, as well as the various other improvements along our coast, and I look forward to seeing many more special occasions like this take place at the venue in future.”

Chris Marsh, General Manager, Spanish City, added: “It’s so exciting to be holding our first wedding at Spanish City. Since we first opened the building we have been inundated with wedding enquiries.

“Our St Mary’s Lighthouse suite offers panoramic views of the Whitley Bay coastline, including the lighthouse itself of course.  We think we have the ideal venue here with superb views, fantastic backdrops, including the Dome itself, and the beach literally yards down the road, along with a high quality food and service offering.”

For more information about weddings, functions or other events at Spanish City email events@spanishcity.co.uk or call (0191) 691 7090.

For more information about coastal regeneration visit https://my.northtyneside.gov.uk/category/642/coastal-regeneration and keep up-to-date with the latest developments at https://www.facebook.com/WBMasterPlan/

North Tyneside Wedding Fair 2019, Saturday 9 March, 11am – 3pm, North Tyneside Register Office Maritime Chamber, 1 Howard Street, North Shields, NE30 1LZ.

If you are thinking of popping the question, or already have and need some help with planning the big day then come along and speak to our registrars and local exhibitors. For more information call (0191) 643 6164 or email registrars@northtyneside.gov.uk