Here at South Tyneside Council we’ve stayed true to our vision for the future with ever bolder ambition.
Our twin strategy of investment, underpinned by innovation, to deliver services is having real impact in our communities. We are creating the conditions for businesses to flourish, giving the private sector confidence to invest and in turn providing local people with job opportunities.
By placing regeneration at the heart of our approach, we are creating a long-term, sustainable future for South Tyneside. A recent Local Government Association (LGA) Corporate Peer Challenge recognised us as a ‘high performing council’ and endorsed our planned regeneration and growth programme. Reviewing our regeneration successes including The Word, Littlehaven Promenade and Seawall, Haven Point, Hebburn Central and Haven Court, the team described South Tyneside as ‘leading the way’ in the local government sector, where major employers and development partners view our approach as a mark of a determined council that is ‘easy to do business with’ and ‘gets things done’.
Since embarking on our programme of regeneration in 2010, we have established a strong delivery track record which has helped secure leading developers and over £1.1bn public and private sector investment in our town centres, housing, schools, transport, urban and coastal regeneration. We’re seeing genuine jobs growth too; since 2010 we’ve had a 7.9% increase in the number of people in employment and since January 2013 we have had a 44% reduction in the number of out of work benefit claimants.
Last year saw significant milestones in a number of key projects. Progress on our £100m South Shields 365 regeneration masterplan continued at pace. Demolitions in the town centre, necessary to facilitate Phase Two of the plan, are well underway. Work will start on site in Spring to construct the transport interchange, providing a new bus interchange and relocated, redeveloped Metro station. With thousands of new visitors attracted to the town centre each year, creating a high quality sense of arrival through enhanced public transport facilities and improved connectivity is vital.
We have secured Enterprise Zone status for land at Holborn Riverside in South Shields which will provide the opportunity to create a high-quality employment site with the potential of 1,500 jobs and a consequential boost in spending on local infrastructure. This development will expand our provision of Grade A office accommodation allowing companies currently located in managed workspace to grow.
The scheme will also provide opportunities for new residential development to further broaden our housing offer, creating a vibrant mixed use development on the South Shields riverside. This is complemented by investment further along the river at the two key town centres of Jarrow and Hebburn, where the council’s investment in community facilities is acting as a catalyst for further private sector economic and housing investment.
Work with our partner, Sunderland City Council, to deliver the International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP) continues. A number of significant developments in the last 12 months mean we are moving closer to delivering this ambitious venture.
Designated as a scheme of ‘National Significance’, IAMP, just off the A19 on the South Tyneside/ Sunderland border, is a core element of Sunderland’s City Deal in partnership with South Tyneside. It will provide a world class environment for hi-tech industries and advanced manufacturing. Expected to attract more than £400m of private sector investment and create more than 5,000 jobs in the first phases, IAMP is set to help boost growth in the region, and the UK as a whole.
The Government has already pledged over £42m through the North East Local Enterprise Partnership towards including new roads, bridges and environmental enhancements. Both councils have adopted the Area Action Plan, which sets out the broad planning framework for the Park and a planning application for Phase One is now underway. Bringing forward development in a staged way will mean that up to ten specialist automotive and manufacturing businesses could be at the IAMP as early as autumn 2018.
We’ve continued to invest in neighbourhoods; our housing stock exceeds Decent Homes standards thanks to £243m of investment since 2010. South Tyneside Housing Ventures Trust has exceeded its target of 400 new homes in its first five years, with 298 already built or brought back into use and a further 118 either under construction or in the pipeline. We’ve established a housing development company, Centaurea Homes, to build and sell homes.
Alongside South Tyneside Homes and the Ventures Trust, the company will help us deliver new high quality homes to meet growing demand and create sustainable mixed tenure neighbourhoods. With our investment and regeneration programme externally validated, we’re well on track to deliver our 2030 Future Vision of an outstanding place to live, invest and bring up families.
Councillor Iain Malcolm, Leader of South Tyneside Council and Martin Swales, Chief Executive of South Tyneside Council.