Council pats itself on back as Northumberland Square revamp nominated for major accolade

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The redevelopment of Northumberland Square and Howard Street in North Shields has been nominated for a regional engineering award.

The regeneration of Northumberland Square in North Shields has been shortlisted for a heralded engineering award after work pushed forward by North Tyneside Council.

Developments to Northumberland Square and Howard Street have been shortlisted in the Medium Project category for the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) North East Robert Stephenson Awards.

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The project is part of the council's plans to regenerate North Shields and the Fish Quay was completed in September 2022. The design was chosen to be "sympathetic to tis heritage and roots" and it took 12 months to complete work.

The square has been returned back to a layout similar to its original Georgian design which includes a perimeter of trees and new plants. The project was supported by Historic England and hopes to create a new Cultural Quarter in North Shields to "support sustainable economic and cultural growth to restore and enhance local historic character".

When plans were first unveiled, residents were hesitant about the designs and feared a loss of green space and an area unsuitable for children. The council responded by offering residents tours of the works as progress was made and issued a statement acknowledging concerns and promising to work with locals.

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Since reopening, the area has hosted events such as the multicultural North Tyneside Together celebration and the North Shields Christmas Markets.

Cllr Carl Johnson, Deputy Mayor of North Tyneside and cabinet member for Regeneration and Economic Development, said: “It’s fantastic to see the Square and surrounding area transformed back to its Georgian-era appearance, with residents and visitors enjoying the new layout.

Northumberland Square in North ShieldsNorthumberland Square in North Shields
Northumberland Square in North Shields | -

“We are delighted to hear the first phase of our ambitious North Shields Masterplan shortlisted for the North East ICE Awards.

“The reshaping of Northumberland Square and Howard Street creates a welcoming modern feel and tranquil, pleasant and more flexible space in this historic part of the town for events and leisure activities that everyone can enjoy, adding to the appeal of the town centre and complementing the other North Shields regeneration projects that are now well underway.

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“Thank you to all of our colleagues and partners who worked on this project and made it possible. We’ll have our fingers crossed for the award ceremony in March.”

How the Square used to lookHow the Square used to look
How the Square used to look | -

Traditional sandstone paving and cobbled-style paths have been installed throughout the square, with new lighting and up-lighting to trees. New plans, shrubs and a native beech hedgerow have also been added.

Howard Street now offers a shared highway surface for occasional vehicle use, creating a new pedestrian and cyclist-friendly cultural scene as a nod to the original historic footway geometry.

An avenue of trees and seating has been installed leading up to the Square from the Fish Quay, as part of the council's tree planting programme which contributes to the borough’s net-zero 2030 ambitions.

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