Mott MacDonald and ADP have been appointed by North Tyneside Council to provide all architectural, structural, mechanical and electrical engineering design services for the repair, renovation and rehabilitation of the Spanish City in Whitley Bay, UK. The council secured a £3.7 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), with £182,700 awarded so far to progress the project. Mott MacDonald and ADP will now develop detailed proposals to secure further HLF funding.
The Spanish City is a collection of Grade II listed seaside pleasure buildings and grounds built in 1910. Located on the seafront, they remain a symbol of Whitley Bay’s civic history. Built primarily in reinforced concrete, the now derelict buildings comprised a theatre, shops, various leisure and amusement rooms, outdoor pleasure grounds with rides and amusements and a large rotunda hall with dome. Northern, central and southern promenades adjoin the building group and form part of the wider seafront leisure quarter. The restoration proposals include an activity centre and community space, as well as food and retail outlets in the dome.
Mott MacDonald and ADP will undertake a series of structural surveys to assess the remaining lifespan of the structures and suitability for reuse. The Hennebique reinforced concrete used to construct the dome was innovative for its time and this form of construction requires careful preservation. Specialised intrusive tests such as ferroscan surveys, petrographic analysis, carbonation depth and half-cell electro-potential testing may be needed to establish appropriate repair methods.
Gordon Hudson, Mott MacDonald’s project director, said: “This is a very special project for the people in the north east which will ultimately bring the Spanish City back to functional use. Nearly a whole generation has missed out on the Spanish City experience and by restoring this culturally significant landmark we will hopefully create thousands of new memories for those who visit Whitley Bay and the wider region.”
Charles Greenall, partner of ADP’s Newcastle studio said: “We are delighted to be involved in the regeneration of Spanish City, which will give a new lease of life to the seaside town and return the distinctive Grade II listed dome to its prominent and historical position on Whitley Bay’s skyline.”
North Tyneside’s Elected Mayor, Norma Redfearn, said: “I am delighted that we now have the expertise of Mott MacDonald and ADP on board with us to deliver the restoration of the Spanish City dome, which I know is so important to the residents of North Tyneside. They bring a wealth of professional expertise and experience to the project, particularly in working with sensitive and heritage projects.”