Clear up to begin months after fire at Newcastle University's Henderson Old Hall in Heaton

Drone footage shows the extent of the damage caused by the fire. Credit: NCJ Media

Work is due to start on the clear up caused by a fire at a former university halls of residence, though its long-term future remains unclear.

The fire started in the loft of the disused Henderson Old Hall in the Heaton area of Newcastle in June 2023.

The building was vacant at the time. Credit: Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service

More than 50 Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue service firefighters and 10 fire engines were called to the Grade II Listed building in what was described by fire chiefs as the "largest fire the service had seen in some time."

The building suffered extensive damage with virtually the entire roof destroyed.

Firefighters remained at the scene throughout the night and into the next day. Credit: Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service

Newcastle University has now confirmed work will get underway to clear the site after initial assessments "proved more complex than initially thought".

In a letter being sent to residents, the university has said contractors will move onto the site at the end of January to remove debris and fire-damaged material.

Scaffolding and other supports will then be installed by early April to protect against further damage.

Once complete, university bosses will then "be able to begin more detailed investigations and further surveys to identify and record the extent of damage to the building."

A plan will then be made for its future.

It comes as former students and conservation bodies have called for the building, which opened as student accommodation in the 1930s, to be rebuilt and brought back into use.

Two males – aged 17 and 16 - have been charged with arson following the incident. They are due to appear before North Tyneside Magistrates’ Court on 24 January.

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