Preparations underway for start of Tynemouth Library redevelopment

Tynemouth Library

Preparations are underway for work to start on the redevelopment of Tynemouth Library.

A tendering exercise by North Tyneside Council led to a successful bid by a local developer in January 2024. They will deliver the scheme in line with existing planning permission which includes a library and community space, six apartments and a Newcastle Building Society community partnership branch.

A substation to the rear of the building needs to be moved and replaced with a more modern version before construction work can begin. Northern Powergrid has begun site investigations ahead of works starting.

The library on Front Street closed in 2020 after almost 70 years because the building was no longer fit for purpose.

The new scheme will see the existing building demolished and rebuilt. To the ground floor the facilities will include a Council-run library, flexible community space and a Newcastle Building Society branch providing a full range of financial services including savings and face to face financial advice.

The library will offer a range of resources for information, education and reading for pleasure, including books for all ages and free internet access. Portable bookcases will allow the space to be opened up for community events such as meetings, exhibitions and reading groups.

The ground floor facilities will be able to open during usual business hours compared to two days a week previously, thanks to the partnership with Newcastle Building Society. This means borrowing hours for the library will more than double.

Six new homes will be created as part of the scheme. The apartments will be over three floors, along with five car parking spaces, secure cycle storage and bin store to the rear of the building.

Elected Mayor of North Tyneside Dame Norma Redfearn DBE said: “We know that people in Tynemouth have been waiting eagerly for this scheme. Having a local developer on board and beginning the process of moving the substation is great news.

“This is part of our Ambition for North Tyneside which is bringing benefits to all parts of the Borough.

“Tynemouth Library has been an important asset for seven decades, but the building was showing its age. The new library will be bigger, brighter, more modern and more accessible.

“Our partnership with Newcastle Building Society brings a financial services branch to Tynemouth. It’s a positive gain for the community at a time when so many banks are closing.

“The new homes are in a fantastic location, on the doorstep of Tynemouth’s vibrant shops and hospitality and within walking distance of public transport.”

Tynemouth Library will be Newcastle Building Society’s latest community partnership branch. The first was opened in Yarm Library in 2016, since then they have opened within community buildings in Wooler, Hawes and Knaresborough.

Michael Conville, chief customer officer at Newcastle Building Society, said: “We’re excited about the progress on the library and look forward to opening a new branch in Tynemouth as we continue to build on our successful community branch blueprint.

“We understand the impact of bank branch closures on our communities, and unfortunately North Tyneside has seen several banks leave over the past few years. So, as well as investing in our digital offering, we’re taking an innovative approach with community partnership branches. In Tynemouth that means working with the Council to meet the needs of the local community as part of the inclusive redevelopment of the library. 

“Our members tell us time and again how much they value their branch, and their passbooks, and how worried they are about the extent of bank branch closures, so it’s pleasing to be able to secure the future of financial services in Tynemouth. We’re looking forward to becoming a part of the community for years to come.”