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Work begins on new hotel in Whitley Bay

(Pictured from) left to right are Chris Price, Contracts Manager for Robertson Construction North East, Martin Westgate, Director for Robertson Construction England, Patrick Melia, Chief Executive, North Tyneside Council, and Norma Redfearn, Elected Mayor of North Tyneside. Credit: North Tyneside Council

Work to build a new hotel as part of the regeneration of Whitley Bay’s seafront is underway.

The new hotel (which is a Premier Inn) is being built next to the Spanish City Dome and is part of North Tyneside Council’s Seafront Master Plan to modernise and improve the coastline between St Mary’s Island and Cullercoats Bay.

The council’s Planning Committee approved the development, which also features a restaurant, bar and car park, in February.

Work is expected to be complete by June 2017.

“Seeing the work start on building the new Premier Inn hotel is really exciting and marks another step forward in our multi-million pound plans to breathe new life into the coast at Whitley Bay.

“This is a huge step forward and follows the news of our successful funding bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund to restore the Spanish City Dome and, more recently, learning that we have gained initial support from HLF to restore and safeguard St Mary’s Lighthouse.

“The combination of this new hotel and our plans for the dome will not only mean many more visitors and businesses will be attracted to the town and our coastline but it will also increase confidence in the borough among businesses as somewhere they can flourish.”

– Norma Redfearn, Elected Mayor of North Tyneside


Police appeal after 79-year-old woman punched in the back in street

Police are appealing for witnesses after an elderly woman was assaulted in a North Tyneside street.

The 79-year-old woman was walking along Whitley Road in Whitley Bay last Thursday afternoon when a man approached her from behind and punched her in the back.

The man then pushed passed her and made off. Police say the woman was distressed and bruised by the incident.

The offender is described as a white man aged 40s to 50s, medium build with short brown hair wearing a navy jumper and light coloured trousers.

A man and a woman were walking towards the elderly woman at the time of the incident and police are appealing for these two people to come forward as it is believed they may have witnessed the incident.

Neighbourhood Inspector Neil Armsworth said:

"These sorts of incidents are unusual in this area and we want to find the person responsible for this attack on an elderly lady. We're appealing for witnesses to come forward and speak to officers about this incident. We'd like to hear from anyone who was in the area at the time and especially these two people who the victim recalls seeing at the time of the assault."

Spanish City restoration approved

Impression of how the Spanish City Dome is expected to look

Work to restore the Spanish City Dome in Whitley Bay is set to begin in the Summer. North Tyneside Council Cabinet has officially accepted a Heritage Lottery Fund grant for £3.47 million and given final approval for the scheme.

It's estimated the restoration will cost £10 million. The Council has invested more than £4 million and the Coastal Communities Fund has given a grant of over £2.5 million.

The project is part of a wider plan to restore Whitley Bay seafront, including St Mary's Lighthouse and improvements to the Northern Promenade.

“I’m thrilled that the long-awaited restoration of the Spanish City Dome can begin. So much hard work went into the HLF bid and it was the icing on the cake when we found out it had been successful. The dome has such a rich and important history but has been empty for far too long.

This work will return the building back to its original 1910 splendour and bring back to life an iconic listed building for the benefit of residents and visitors while also boosting the local economy by creating new employment opportunities, new businesses and amenities.

– Norma Redfearn, Elected Mayor of North Tyneside

Whitley Bay seal pup pops up to say 'hello'

Grey Seal in Whitley Bay Credit: Paul Kingston, North News and Pictures

A Whitley Bay seal pup popped up and posed for the camera on the beach near St Mary's Lighthouse.

Grey seal pups, who have to fend for themselves after leaving their mothers at just one month old, are often seen resting on the rocks after feeding in the North Sea.

This seal pup, who definitely can't be described as 'camera shy' gave passers-by a surprise wave.

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