Work now completed on transformation of Whitley Bay’s Spanish City
Work is now finished on the restoration and revamp of the Spanish City attraction in Whitley Bay, North Tyneside.
The project was completed with an investment of more than £4m from North Tyneside Council, along with grants of £3.47m from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and more than £2m from the Coastal Communities Fund.
Built in 1910, the Grade-II listed building has been restored by construction company Robertson, along with architects ADP which used historical images and drawings as reference where original details had been lost.
The dome’s original features have been reinstated on the promenade elevation, including the first floor loggia terraces, which are located either side of the central arcade, have been fully rebuilt to reflect the original proportions.
The new extensions provide additional facilities and support areas.
Finishing touches are now being made to Empress Gardens. Footpaths have been created to make the area more accessible, new street furniture has been installed and there are also new garden spaces with planters, grass and flowerbeds.
Norma Redfearn CBE, Elected Mayor of North Tyneside, said: “When I became Mayor one of the first commitments I made was to not give up on the dome. It’s been a long time coming but I am absolutely delighted that it has finally been restored to its former glory and we can now start a new chapter in the rich history of this truly iconic building.
“This is the culmination of years of hard work by the council, our partners and the community, and it couldn’t have happened without the support of the National Lottery and the Coastal Communities Fund.
“Robertson and ADP have done a fantastic job in ensuring a sympathetic restoration that stays true to its history while looking firmly to the future and have delivered a high-class venue.
“We can now look forward to getting Spanish City open again at last and celebrating an exciting future and we wish the operator Kymel well – this is something unique that we can all be proud of and the heart is well and truly back in Whitley Bay.”
The loggia terraces of the seafront-located building have been enclosed with glass so that they can be used all year around.
Garry Hope, Managing Director of Robertson North East, commented: “The restoration of such a beautiful and iconic building has been an absolute joy for the team to work on for the last two years.
“The detail that has been achieved is truly astonishing and I’m sure local residents and visitors to the site will agree.”
Roger FitzGerald, Chair of the architects, ADP, added: “This project is an exemplar of how historic, iconic buildings in seaside locations can be revitalised by careful restoration and imaginative extensions, thereby ensuring their future viability and helping to regenerate the whole area.”
New leisure facilities including restaurants, fine dining, tearooms, event spaces and a champagne bar have also been added.
Kyle Mackings, CEO of Kymel hospitality group, the new operator of Spanish City, said: “We’ve been involved in this project for a number of years now and have seen it evolve into something we’re very proud to be part of. We’re incredibly excited about the completion of building work and the beginning of our journey with our new team.
“We want to become part of the Whitley Bay community and will be holding lots of exciting public events that we’re looking forward to already. We hope that the venues within Spanish City will provide something different and we can’t wait to welcome everyone.”