Oh I do like to be beside the seaside!

And it looks like ‘being beside the seaside’ is set to become an altogether more enjoyable experience very soon!

The Dome in Whitley Bay is an iconic structure being originally completed in 1910 but sadly over the years fell into disrepair.

After massive investment and almost 18 years after it finally closed it’s doors for the last time – it is almost ready to be re-opened in magnificent style!

North Tyneside Council and the construction Group Robertson’s’ have been working on  regenerating the Spanish City Dome at Whitley Bay in North Tyneside.

The Council have invested £4m, secured £3.47m of funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund as well as a Coastal Communities Fund grant of more than £2.5m – bringing the total investment to a whopping £10m. So far the project is on budget and on time – can’t ask for more than that!

Work is currently underway and includes the restoration and repair of many previously lost original features and the addition of modern extensions. Much of the inside was rotten (as you can see from the picture above) – but features have been faithfully restored as far as possible by local companies and people.

The ceiling of the central space has also been removed from the ground floor, so visitors will see the dome in all its glory from inside for the first time in over 100 years – a floor to ceiling view from the Rotunda.

Seaward-facing full height windows have also been fitted in keeping with the original Spanish City, revealing incredible views of the coast and St Mary’s Island.

I was lucky to be selected from over 1,000 applicants to view the progress being made last week in advance of it’s completion in Spring 2018 and opening to the public in late spring/early summer 2018.

I took a few 🙂 photos whilst I was there and as the tour programme is now closed – the next ones I’ll be taking are when it’s fully open to the public – I can’t wait!

If you are in the North East next summer be sure to come and have a look – there will be restaurants, tea shops and an ice cream parlour, plus of course (wouldn’t be complete without one) …. a fish and chip shop! More info on the progress can be found here.

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