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Relocated South Shields job centre completes

Muse Developments – one of the UK’s best at repurposing towns and cities - with partners South Tyneside Council and contractor, GMI Construction Group, have delivered a 12,000 sq ft high-quality new Jobcentre Plus for South Shields.

The BREEAM ‘very good’ building on Mile End Road will become home to 65 DWP employees, bringing over a range of services to help people of working age find work, claim benefits, as well as specialist support for those with disabilities.

The relocation of DWP from Barrington Street to Mile End Road is one of the key pieces in the repurposing of South Shields town centre, as it will free up land and bring forward future development.

The ongoing regeneration of the town centre is being delivered through a close collaboration between Muse and South Tyneside Council. The wider scheme has already delivered two statement buildings in ‘The Word’ – the multi-award-winning National Centre for the Written Word – and the £21m state-of-the-art South Shields interchange, which has brought together the town’s Metro and bus station, with improved accessibility for all.

Over the course of the build, the team placed over £2.1m with local materials providers and subcontractors respectively. Seven local residents also gained employment delivering the scheme, from local operatives via the government’s Kick Start scheme, to sub-contractor apprentices and a trainee site manager.

Andrew Fairest, project director at Muse Developments, said: “Completing the relocated Jobcentre safely, despite the challenges surrounding the pandemic, is testament to the hard work of our tenacious team and of course our partners. Its delivery is a key piece of the jigsaw, which will unlock the opportunity for us to bring forward future phases of the wider masterplan, driving further investment and opportunities to benefit the South Shields’ community.

“Working collaboratively and progressively with our partners at South Tyneside Council, we’ve been able to deliver our unique brand of repurposed regeneration at pace, delivering some truly statement and purposeful buildings to create a vibrant, inclusive and connected town that’s packed full of amenities.”

Steve Martin, a senior operations manager for the DWP, said: “This will be an exciting new opportunity to continue to support our local customers and employers in South Shields. It is great that we will be able to continue to deliver our support in the heart of the town centre and play our part in supporting the continuing expansion of local labour market developments alongside our partners.”

Cllr Tracey Dixon, leader of South Tyneside Council, said: “This is another exciting milestone in the ongoing regeneration of South Shields town centre. This building is complete and will now be fitted out to allow the new facility to go live and the old job centre to close later this year.

“Working collaboratively with our partners Muse and the DWP, we’ve provided modern, purpose-build premises in the heart of the town and freed up the former site for future redevelopment.

“Following on from our major schemes like our multi-award-winning cultural venue, The Word, and our state of the art transport interchange, we’re creating the conditions and infrastructure to generate private-sector interest and investment

“Now we’re continuing to build on those foundations to develop a diverse offer and create a thriving town centre with local people at the heart of that vision.”

Lee Powell, divisional managing director at GMI Construction Group, added: “We’re delighted to have completed our most recent project for our long-standing client Muse. Despite the challenges faced due to the pandemic, our team have delivered a key part of South Shields’ masterplan on behalf of partners.”