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The Word is on the Street!

The Word is out!


‘The Word’ has been revealed as the name of the new library and digital media centre which will be the jewel in the crown of the £100 million regeneration of South Shields town centre.

The state-of-the-art facility will be a regional centre inspired by all aspects of the written word.

The three-storey building, being built on the town’s Market Place, will celebrate the Borough’s literary heritage.

Councillor Iain Malcolm, Leader of South Tyneside Council, said: “The Borough’s tradition of writing stretches right back to Bede, who was one of this country’s truly great authors and scholars.

“The Word will marry the traditional library with a superb 21st century digital environment, reflecting the fact that the written word comes in so many different forms these days, from screen plays to social media.

“It will not only be a fantastic facility for residents, but will put South Tyneside on the map as a vibrant culture and leisure destination 365 days a year.”

South Tyneside Council has entered into partnership with New Writing North to establish The Word as a real home for North East writing talent. It will host writers’ workshops and exhibitions as well as a series of writers in residence.

The centre will boast an impressive range of facilities including exhibition space, computer gaming area, design and innovation studio with 3D printers, digitised archives, meeting rooms, children’s immersive storytelling area, OpenZone IT suite, café and a rooftop restaurant and terrace providing stunning views over the river.

Its logo reflects the building’s circular shape with a wireless symbol representing communications in and out.

Cllr Malcolm added: “This is going to be a landmark building which will inject renewed vitality into the town. We are confident that it will attract people from across the region and beyond.

“Our partnership with New Writing North will help nurture a new generation of North East writers and create a literary legacy for the Borough.”

The Council and its development partner Muse Developments will soon announce the contractor appointed to carry out construction of the building, which forms the first phase of the South Shields 365 project.

Martin Swales, Chief Executive of South Tyneside Council, said: “This is about creating an outstanding offer for South Shields.

“We were ambitious in our vision and we believe this facility will provide the region with a distinctive cultural institution.

“The Word will drive footfall into the town centre and act as a catalyst for further private sector investment.

“The building itself will be truly striking and I am looking forward to seeing it take shape.”
David Wells, Development Director of Muse Developments, added: “Muse Developments is proud to be part of the redevelopment of South Shields town centre and is pleased that The Word is now becoming a reality.

“The Word will provide exciting opportunities to learn, engage and discover using the latest technology, as well as acting as a thriving community hub.

“We’re confident that we will give both South Tyneside residents and the wider region a facility that they will be proud of.

“We are close to appointing a contractor for the physical construction, who will start on site soon with a view to having the Word open to the public in the autumn of 2016.”

Preliminary works have been ongoing for several weeks to prepare the site for construction.
Archaeological investigations have already been completed on the former Wouldhave House site and the Market Place, trial holes have been hand dug to locate utilities and topographical, drainage, noise and ecology surveys have been carried out.

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