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Old February 24th, 2010, 01:46 PM   #21
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I just hope that they actually have tennants lined up, because making that store smaller may be doing more harm then good.
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Old March 3rd, 2010, 10:00 AM   #22
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MAKE-BELIEVE businesses are being used to provide a lift to town centres tarnished by empty shop premises. North Tyneside Council is trialling a new window treatment which at first glance gives the impression that units are occupied.

The vacant Select store in the centre of Whitley Bay is the first to be given the design treatment which gives the impression of a high quality delicatessen.

Judith Wallace, North Tyneside Council’s Deputy Mayor, said: “We need to do whatever we can to support our businesses and our town centres.

“The economic climate has forced many businesses to bring down the shutters. We need to ensure that the remaining businesses continue to survive and that means ensuring our high streets look attractive to both shoppers and potential business investors.

“This is a simple and cost-effective approach that keeps the retail unit available for potential new uses and in the meantime also contributes to the street scene.”

The project has been funded through the Department for Communities and Local Government Empty Shops Fund and has been handled by the retail consultant employed by North Tyneside Council to help let empty properties and work with potential new businesses within the town centres. The colourful graphic designs – which can feature a range of different shop types – are either taped inside the windows or screwed to the fascia so they can be removed and re-used as required.

The design also features contact information for anyone wishing to let the property as well as details for the council’s business support services.

Karen Goldfinch, chairman of Whitley Bay Chamber of Trade, said: “What a difference this makes to our high street – a tidy, professional, quality design to inspire and raise hopes for our town.

“It’s an excellent way of promoting how a unit can be used, making you think about it in a different way to what you’ve been used to seeing, perhaps inspiring new businesses to come into the town.

“I believe this is the first treatment of this kind to empty shops – not just in this area, but the whole country – and it’s good to think that we are leading the way forward in this. It is another positive thing for Whitley Bay.

“We all have the interests of our town at heart, and can contribute in different ways.”

The scheme is the latest initiative by the Retail Centres Task Group, which has been set up by North Tyneside Council, to bring together representatives of all the town centres with key agencies to support shopping centres.

Last edited by Newcastle Historian; March 3rd, 2010 at 03:48 PM.
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Old March 3rd, 2010, 04:39 PM   #23
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If anyone wonders why the article in the previous post is part scanned in from the paper and part posted from the website, it is because (as is often the case) the 'website version' did NOT contain all the photos.

The website didn't even have the 'before and after' photos of the Select shop, which I thought were essential to fully understanding the story!




.

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Old March 3rd, 2010, 04:45 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Newcastle Historian View Post


MAKE-BELIEVE businesses are being used to provide a lift to town centres tarnished by empty shop premises. North Tyneside Council is trialling a new window treatment which at first glance gives the impression that units are occupied.
They could at least have painted in some imaginary customers! (Though an empty shop is a lot more realistic for Whitley these days....)
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Old March 3rd, 2010, 05:43 PM   #25
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Whitley Bay bids to bring back good times
Mar 3 2010 by Chris Knox, The Journal



Once the holiday destination of choice for thousands of people in the North East, Whitley Bay has slid into a state of dilapidation over the past 10 years. Chris Knox looks at how businesses are backing the bid to restore the area to its former glory.

For those in the region old enough to remember its hey day, the mention of Whitley Bay often conjures up images of candy floss, shuggy boats and a packed seaside, with a soundtrack provided by the fairground attractions of nearby Spanish City.

The area was a long-time favourite among holidaymakers in the North and the town’s economy thrived.




However, changes such as the advent of cheap flights abroad, out-of-town shopping centres and the growing popularity of video games saw families and children seek their thrills elsewhere during the late 80s and 90s.

Whitley Bay fell into ruin and many of its attractions closed.

The situation has not been helped by the current economic downturn. Around 25% of the shops in the town centre are unoccupied and high levels of unemployment are exacerbating the gloom on the high street.

However, plans are afoot to revitalise the area and build on the success of the new Waves leisure pool and gym and the re-opening of the Playhouse theatre.

Council leaders, business figures and developers have all agreed that there is huge potential in the town and are working on a £64m regeneration plan, which promises to turn the area into a hub for culture and arts over the coming years.

The plans target shopping areas, streets, paths, parks, public transport, parking and leisure services.

However, the pace of these changes has been restricted as a result of a dwindling pot of council funding, with a reported £600,000 left following the construction of the Playhouse, leisure pool, skate park and the completion of phase one refurbishment work on the outer shell of the Spanish City Dome.

The council has responded to criticisms surrounding delays to the Spanish City project and is now considering a compulsory purchase order, which will allow it to acquire much of the surrounding land in order to support the “timely delivery” of its proposals.

Developers for the site are currently being shortlisted with a preferred scheme selected later this year, subject to planning permission and completion of contracts.

North Tyneside’s elected mayor Linda Arkley said: “As a council we are committed to taking forward the regeneration of Whitley Bay seafront because we know it is so important to our residents, our businesses and visitors.

“The compulsory purchase order is put forward as a last resort.”

However, with much work still to do to bring the area back to life, both in terms of a tourist destination and a business quarter, a number of businesses and private individuals have come together to help maintain the momentum for change.

The Whitley Bay Development Trust (WBDT) is one such group. It is a coming together of prominent business figures who have invested their own money to ensure that the opportunity to transform the town is seized.

The non-political organisation’s aims include helping people to set up businesses, bringing disused buildings back to life and working with other organisations to create jobs and apprenticeships.

Bill Midgley, chairman of the group and former president of the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “Whitley Bay has suffered from a distinct lack of investment for more than a decade.



“Although there are arguments surrounding things like cheap overseas flights and the abundance of out-of-town shopping centres such as the Silverlink in North Tyneside, it is also the case that Whitley Bay has not received the same level of support as other seaside towns, such as Scarborough.

“Now in its centenary year, it is important that the redevelopment of the Dome is a key priority for the council as this will send a clear signal that it is serious about the town’s future as a tourist destination and a place to do business.

“It would be disappointing if the site was left only partially developed as it could be the case that whoever owns the remaining land could just be sitting on it to see if it goes up in value.

“With this is mind, I believe a compulsory purchase order would show businesses just how serious the council is about getting its plans on track.”

WBDT now intends to kick-start the re-development of Whitley Bay’s high street by acquiring the old Co-op building, which it plans to convert into 12 affordable business units.

Mr Midgley, who has also earmarked the town’s YMCA building for a similar development, said that he intends to pass over the running of the trust to the people of Whitley Bay by issuing shares to the local community.

He said: “By putting the trust into public ownership we hope to be able to draw on a large increase in investment as well as allow the people of Whitley Bay to have a greater say in what goes on in their town.

“The Whitley Bay of the 1960s and 1970s is long gone. However, we hope to give residents the chance to create a new vision for the town and one that will sustain a viable future for those that want to set up a business here.”

That vision is shared by a number of developers in the region, who believe the local council are beginning to take greater strides in their redevelopment plans.

One example is Newcastle-based Beach Hut Resorts (BHR), which is looking to build day and overnight huts on the Northern Promenade as part of a £30m plan to roll-out similar developments in coastal resorts from Scotland to the south coast.

The company has also received planning permission from the council to build a new art gallery in Whitley Bay this summer, which will accommodate three artists’ workshops to help support emerging talent.

Kensington and Partners, who were behind schemes including the renovation of Hebburn Hall and the Court House in Morpeth, are the principal architects behind Beach Hut Resorts.

Darren Baker, financial director at BHR, said: “We feel that North Tyneside Council has the vision and ability to regenerate the coast.

“Its commitment to our project and understanding of the benefit it brings to tourism and inward investment is refreshing.

“We would like to extend the art programme, opening galleries and workshops along the coast to promote a Cultural Coast to North Tyneside.

“We feel this would support tourism and investment. Our projects are a small stepping stone towards the vision of full coastal regeneration.

“Along with the planned Spanish City programme and the ongoing work North Tyneside Council is doing, we feel we are at the beginning of a coastal renaissance.”

The gradual transformation of Whitley Bay has already helped a number of businesses in the North East, with Newcastle builder Surgo, and Archial Architects, also in Newcastle, benefiting from the £8m redevelopment of the Playhouse, which was re-opened to the public in September.

John Baird, operating director at Archial Architects, said: “It was a great honour to be involved in such a prestigious project. The building is one of the best-known in the area and we hope to land further work on the coastline as a result.”

Newcastle civil and structural engineering company Patrick Parsons has also benefited from the project, with the firm doubling its workforce to 209 over the last three years as a result of a series of lucrative contracts – one of which was the refurbishment of the outer shell of the Whitley Bay Dome.

The firm is hoping to secure additional work in the area over the coming years.

Managing director Peter Steinlet said: “When we found out that we would be working on The Dome we were really excited as it has become an icon to a lot of people in the North East.

“If the town is to witness any kind of economic recovery, it is essential that work on The Dome is completed. We have finished work on the structure itself and made it water tight. However, there is much still to do if the town is to mount a serious comeback.”

Funding decisions

HOW the Whitley Bay regeneration money has so far been spent . .

Budgeted regeneration cost: £22.526m.

Funding left: £600,000.

Whitley Bay Playhouse – council contribution: £5.5m.

Waves Leisure Pool – council contribution: £5.05m.

General town regeneration – council contribution: £9.327m.

Funding still needed for – Phase 2 Dome works

Phase 2 Whitley Park remodeling, Whitley Park lighting and road realignment
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Old March 3rd, 2010, 06:14 PM   #26
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An art gallery and a couple of beach huts is not going to make Whitley Bay an attractive tourist destination.

Just the same old bollocks, different year.
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Old April 14th, 2010, 10:00 AM   #27
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Evening Chronicle, Tuesday April 13th 2010 . .


Old Whitley Bay postcards inspire a new book
Apr 13 2010 by Tony Henderson, Evening Chronicle

Some old picture postcards have provided the spark for 83-year-old Bill Mood’s memories of life in a seaside town.

Bill’s son, Mike Mood, acquired a few cards of Whitley Bay as part of his hobby of collecting items with a postal theme.

As Mike carried on finding more cards, Bill remembered the stories that went with them.

Mike ended up with 500 Whitley Bay cards, which led Bill to write a book based on his recollections.

Having a Wonderful Time at Whitley Bay has now been published by Summerhill Books at £4.99 and details what life was like in the seaside town from when Bill’s family moved there from Sunderland in 1935.

Bill’s father had lost his job when the Wearside shipyards closed, and the family knew Whitley Bay from holidays spent at the home of his mother’s school friend.

In the pre-foreign holiday package days of the 1930s-1950s, Whitley Bay was a busy resort, with thousands of day trippers and holidaymakers coming there for their annual holidays.

Bill, who, like Mike, lives in Whitley Bay, said: “ When Mike showed me the first cards, it brought back the memories. I started off writing captions for the cards. I never thought I would write a book.”

He remembers Scottish holidaymakers arriving at Whitley Bay station by direct train from Glasgow, and the workers – mainly girls – from the Borders mill towns of Peebles, Hawick and Galashields.

There were also hundreds of people who came to Whitley Bay from the mill towns of Yorkshire.

“It was very busy. Dozens and dozens of houses took in visitors. Many a woman bought a wash stand in April and sold it again October,” said Bill.

Describing the book project, Mike said: “It all started when, rooting around a junk stall, I found a postcard of Whitley Bay. I showed it to dad, and got ‘I remember that!’ and a story about something on the card.

“I ended up buying cards for the stories. Gradually, I started to hear stories of Whitley Bay that had never surfaced in the previous 40-odd years.

“I suggested that maybe he should record all this. It is the story of what it was like to grow up in a town in its heyday, in the golden era of the seaside resort.”

Mike had plenty of cards to go at, as so many were printed to cater for the tide of visitors.

“When you look at some of the cards, there are thousands of people on them,” said Mike.

“Also in the early 20th Century, people had huge collections of postcards, which have turned out to be a great medium for reflecting social change.”

Bill recalls how, after a year in work clothes, visitors would dress up for their Whitley Bay holiday.

Some premises advertised board and residence, and others had signs saying simply “apartments”, which meant holidaymakers would bring their own food for the landlady to cook.

Bill made some pocket money by using his bogey to take visitors’ luggage to the station.

Holidaymakers could hire rowing boats from the beach, or pay a shilling to be taken for a round trip to St Mary’s Island.

On the beach, men carrying big wickerwork baskets threaded between the visitors, selling everything from buckets and spades to sun glasses and fourpenny novels.

Bill said: “The pace of life now has changed. Whitley Bay was once the main shopping area but now people go to Newcastle and retail parks.

“It is now a dormitory town. Perhaps some entrepreneur will come along to resurrect the potential which is there, but will need to have those wonderful sunny summers when the sky and the sea were blue and when everyone was having a wonderful time at Whitley Bay.”

Last edited by Newcastle Historian; April 14th, 2010 at 10:06 AM.
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Old April 14th, 2010, 10:05 AM   #28
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Evening Chronicle, Tuesday April 13th 2010 . .
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Old April 23rd, 2010, 10:10 AM   #29
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NOSTALGIA

Plea for photos

IMAGES from yesteryear are being sought for a charity calendar.

Old photographs of Monkseaton are needed for the Rotary Club’s 2011 nostalgia calendar, which will be sold to raise funds for local charities and good causes.

Club president Barbara Connors-Fowler said: “We would particularly welcome any information with regards to location, year taken, and names of any people in the photograph.”

Barbara can be contacted on 0191 253 1937.


SEE THIS ARTICLE AT - http://www.journallive.co.uk/north-e...1634-26300044/
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Old April 23rd, 2010, 05:26 PM   #30
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I cant find it but Im sure I read in the Chronicle the other day the Esplanade Hotel on the seafront in Whitley is being turned into flats.
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 04:39 PM   #31
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Old May 14th, 2010, 11:38 AM   #32
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Old June 22nd, 2010, 04:42 PM   #33
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Whitley Bay FC to build on FA Vase success
Jun 22 2010 by Alastair Craig, Evening Chronicle



BOSSES at Whitley Bay FC are building on the club’s cup success – literally. Chairman Paul McIllduff has asked architects to draw up plans for an expansion at their Hillheads home ground.

Cash from the Seahorses’ two successive FA Vase wins at Wembley has been set aside to modernise the ageing venue as the coastal club bids to attract a new generation of fans.

A new £60,000 stand will increase the ground’s covered capacity by over 500 to 4,200.

Hillheads chiefs hope the improvements will bring in a new wave of blue and white supporters to build on the historic trophy wins of the last few seasons.

Mr McIllduff said: “The club has been more and more successful and we want it to grow.

“That means getting in more fans to start with. We want to build on the success we are having and invest wisely in Whitley Bay FC.

“We feel we have the potential to attract even more supporters and it’s important that the club has the facilities to get them in.” The new development would create covered terracing on the opposite touchline to the existing all-seater stand.


FULL ARTICLE HERE - http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/north...2703-26699683/
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Old August 5th, 2010, 02:23 PM   #34
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This seems a very good idea, in my opinion . . .

Plans to take traffic BEHIND Spanish City Dome
August 5th 2010, by Tony Henderson, Evening Chronicle



A busy road which cuts off a coastal landmark from the seafront is set to be closed.

Plans for a new road to take traffic behind the listed Spanish City Dome at Whitley Bay will go before North Tyneside councillors next week.

The move is part of plans to restore the Dome as a major component in the regeneration of Whitley Bay seafront.

The new stretch of road would replace the existing highway which skirts the seaward side of the Dome.

It is thought the current road prevents pedestrians from moving easily between the Spanish City site and the Promenade and beach areas.

Railings which were erected in the past for pedestrian safety are considered to be both unsightly and because they deter people from crossing the road they could undermine the economic viability of the future new uses of the Spanish City site.

“Currently the road passes to the front of the Spanish City. There are railings all along a rather narrow stretch of footpath. The effect is that the Dome is physically separated from the Links and Whitley Sands beach by a busy road,” say planners.

The closure of the road would allow the seafront promenade to be extended to provide a high quality public space where events could be held.

The proposed new road would pass through Brook Street Gardens, an area of open space, which is a remnant of the extensive pleasure gardens once linked to the Dome.

The road would also pass through the bottom end of Whitley Park but planners say it would not affect any significant features of the park.


FULL ARTICLE - http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/north...2703-27003721/
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Old August 5th, 2010, 03:18 PM   #35
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Yeah I heard about that before reading it in todays Chronicle. It all sounds good in theory, but what it will mean now is that the Dome will be cut off into as little island from the Town centre and even the Play house and Arcades instead. Not only that but if the crossings is any thing like the one at the corner in Whitley Bay where Subway is, it takes forever for the greenman to come on once you press the button.
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Old August 5th, 2010, 03:42 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigchrisfgb View Post
Yeah I heard about that before reading it in todays Chronicle. It all sounds good in theory, but what it will mean now is that the Dome will be cut off into as little island from the Town Centre and even the Play house and Arcades instead. Not only that but if the crossings is any thing like the one at the corner in Whitley Bay where Subway is, it takes forever for the greenman to come on once you press the button.

Hmm, so on balance, do you think the road is best left as it is, with the Dome cut off from the beach?

I suppose that 'either way' it will be cut off from somewhere (Town Centre or Beach).

Interesting, at first reading it sounds such a good idea!!

So, the question is, would the re-vamped Dome (and perhaps it will depend on what is going to be in there and whatever it will then be mainly used for?) be better "linked" to activities in the Town Centre (road to remain where it is) or "linked" to the Beach area (road to be moved as proposed) . . . I wonder?
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Old August 5th, 2010, 04:00 PM   #37
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It depends, a Subway could of been an option but they just lead to anti socail behaviour, but if it is a pedestrian crossing like the one in town then the only people visiting will be people from Norway who come over by row boats over the North Sea, because no one will be able to cross the crossing.
Mind you the pelican, or whatever it's called (the one with no lights and and the driver just has to stop for anyone crossing) on Whitley Road, or both of them usually work well, but maybe that road would be too busy for something like that. There is noway we will see something like we do in Jesmond which could work well for the small stretch of the road in front of the Dome and would mean that the road wouldn't need to be re-routed.

I don't know like you said, either way it's going to be cut off from something, fact is that road is just too busy to stick any sort of decent crossing on it.
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Old August 6th, 2010, 12:23 PM   #38
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.
I know that these days a lot of places (eg, in the centre of Newcastle around the 'Pink Triangle') specifically chase 'the Pink Pound', but perhaps WHITLEY BAY got a head start with this, in the 1950s . . .

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Old August 8th, 2010, 02:10 PM   #39
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It depends, a Subway could of been an option but they just lead to anti socail behaviour, but if it is a pedestrian crossing like the one in town then the only people visiting will be people from Norway who come over by row boats over the North Sea, because no one will be able to cross the crossing.
Mind you the pelican, or whatever it's called (the one with no lights and and the driver just has to stop for anyone crossing) on Whitley Road, or both of them usually work well, but maybe that road would be too busy for something like that. There is noway we will see something like we do in Jesmond which could work well for the small stretch of the road in front of the Dome and would mean that the road wouldn't need to be re-routed.

I don't know like you said, either way it's going to be cut off from something, fact is that road is just too busy to stick any sort of decent crossing on it.
For years there was a subway directly outside the main entrance to the Dome, but they filled it in a few years back and put a pelican crossing in at the lights. The re-routing of that road behind the dome has been proposed in different plans for about 10 years now.

Do they actually have a solid plan for the Dome yet?

Last I heard it was to be a cultural centre, but it appears they're just trying to sure it up (to stop it falling down) without much idea of what to use it for.

Shame they didn't extend out the back and put the Playhouse theatre in there when they ripped most of that building down and rebuilt it a few years back, then it would've had a solid use for years to come.
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Old August 24th, 2010, 10:16 AM   #40
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Bring on the dancing girls
August 24th 2010, by Sonia Sharma, The Journal


TWO historic statues have been painstakingly restored to their former glory.

The dancing girl figures that stood on top of Whitley Bay’s Spanish City Dome for 100 years have been refurbished by specialists.

They were removed from the building by North Tyneside Council in 2007 and were put into safe storage because of their fragile state.

In 2008 they were sent to specialists Rupert Harris, in London, for cleaning and restoration. The work included re-coating the copper sculptures and repairing the legs, arms and feet.

Today the figures were due to be hoisted back into position on the newly-repaired tower tops of the dome.

The work will be carried out by Kier North Tyneside, which was awarded a contract to ensure the building is structurally sound and returned as close to its original design as possible.

Spence & Dower, charter architects and historic buildings consultants, were appointed to advise on the conservation and repair of Spanish City.

Meanwhile, the council is in discussion with short-listed developers about plans for bringing the building back into use.

North Tyneside Mayor, Linda Arkley, said: “The dome is at the centre of my commitment to deliver the regeneration of Whitley Bay’s seafront.

“That’s why reaching one of the very last milestones in the dome’s repair and conservation is so important. It means the focus is about to become the future permanent use of the building for the benefit of residents, visitors and businesses.”


FULL ARTICLE HERE - http://www.journallive.co.uk/north-e...1634-27122325/
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