Spanish City - AD
One of Whitley Bay’s most famous, iconic buildings is about to get a £23 million facelift. Spanish City, Whitley Bay was formerly one North Tyneside’s beloved seaside resorts, but has since fallen into disrepair. The redevelopment of the Grade-II listed building is planned as part of the council’s £36 million regeneration of the area. Designed in 1910, at its peak Spanish City brought thousands of visitors from all over the UK to Tyneside. The appeal was in its huge range of entertainment facilities, including winter pleasure gardens. It was officially closed in the 1990s, much to the disappointment of Whitley Bay residents. ADP architects are leading the regeneration, and initial designs strive to maintain the heritage of the building, while also incorporating modern techniques and materials to create a spaces that can be enjoyed all year round by Whitley Bay locals, and tourists alike. The historic features which made the building famous are to be reinstated on the promenade elevation. At the moment, this extends to include repairs to the loggias on the first floor. Originally these loggias were open corridors, exposed to the ever-changing weather conditions. As part of the new design, they will be enclosed by glass on all sides, so that the views can be enjoyed all-year round, whatever the weather. The cupolas that originally sat at the top of the towers, either side of the development, are to be rebuilt, meaning that those famous ‘dancing ladies’ - the copper female figures which finished the iconic image of the development, can be returned to their original position. To ensure the maximum space available for let can be offered, there are four extensions proposed at either end of the building. These extensions will be clad in copper. ADP director Chris Holmes said: “ADP is delighted to be involved in the plans to regenerate Spanish City. The building is such a familiar landmark and holds many happy memories for the people of Whitley Bay and the North East, so it’s a very exciting opportunity for us, to help bring this unique building back to its former glory.” North Tyneside Council officially accepted a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant for £3.5 million in May 2016, when they gave approval for the final scheme. Work began on the project in September of 2016, and is expected to be finished by spring 2018.