A flagship community hub, designed to reinvigorate the centre of Whitley Bay, is now open for business after being successfully delivered, on time and on budget by, infrastructure, support services and construction group, Robertson.
The £5.2million Customer First Centre, which has been designed to provide a mix of easily accessible public services to local residents in Tyne & Wear, is already proving popular, having attracted more than 100,000 visitors in the past two months.
Officially opened by national television personalities, Ant & Dec, the centre is the latest project to be constructed by Robertson, as part of the Newcastle and North Tyneside Lift Co (NNT lift Co) – it’s partnership with the NHS and Newcastle and North Tyneside Councils.
Bringing together several services under one roof the, 2,700 square metre, building features a large, modern library, local health services, a flexible community activity space, and provides local community access to council services. It also houses a Northumbria Police drop-in facility, as well as tourist information.
The centre is the tenth project to be delivered by Robertson, as part of the NNT lift Co, which has now invested more than £26million in frontline community care and services facilities in Tyne & Wear since 2004.
Martin Westgate, Business Development Director for Robertson in the north of England, said:
“In designing the Customer First Centre, Robertson set out to create a building which meets the needs of the people of Whitley Bay. We’re proud to have delivered this new centre, on time and on budget, and are pleased to see that it is already proving popular.
“This is the tenth successful project delivered by the Newcastle and North Tyneside Lift Co, which we hope will bring people back in to the heart of the town and become a valuable resource.”
Councillor Eddie Darke, Cabinet member for Leisure, Culture and Tourism at North Tyneside Council, said:
“The flagship new-build centre on York Road – in the retail heart of Whitley Bay – provides 2,700 square metres of space dedicated to delivery of a mix of public services that people can access easily in their local area.
“This includes the fantastic library, split over two floors, a tourist information and booking service, flexible community and event space as well as provision for essential services, including health, adult social care. The small café area, to be operated by Age UK will help make it a focal point for local people.”
Built to the highest sustainability standards, efforts were made to reduce the environmental impact throughout construction, including strict monitoring of employee and contractor mileage to reduce the overall carbon footprint. The centre features photovoltaic roof panels, which provide approximately 10% of its overall heating, a grey water storage system, and boasts an ‘Excellent’ BREAM (BRE Environmental Assessment Method) rating.