Work has begun on a hub of public sector services that will bring more people into Whitley Bay town centre as the next phase of the town's regeneration gets underway.
The Whitley Bay Joint Service Centre will be a large modern flagship facility on York Road in the retail heart of Whitley Bay town centre.
The multi-million pound project will be delivered through the Newcastle and North Tyneside LIFTCo - a partnership between the Primary Care Trust and North Tyneside Council with private sector developers Robertson and Community Health Partnership.
Speaking at the start of the works North Tyneside's Elected Mayor, Mrs Linda Arkley said: "I am delighted that this prime project is now underway.
"I know how important this is for residents and for local businesses.
"By bringing a range of services together under one roof it will help encourage more people into the town centre and that can only be good news for everyone."
When completed the building will include a new state of the art library split over two floors. This will provide a full printed word, audio and visual media service, as well as comprehensive internet facilities for public use.
There will also be a tourist information service, dealing with inquiries from visitors as well as residents.
People wishing to access council services will be able to pay their rent or council tax. For other inquiries there will be a full customer services suite with play area on the second floor.
Among other council services operating from the building will be an Adult Social Care team, dedicated to working with older people and the disabled in the area. l
There will also be:
A self contained Primary Care Services suite on the first floor containing a treatment room, two counselling rooms, reception, waiting area and back office space / utility area. This will be a Social Prescribing Hub - a new holistic approach to mental health provisions and social well being.
A small café area will be located on the first floor and operated privately under franchise.
Flexible community rooms and event space that can be used by the services in the joint service centre, local residents and community groups for training, meetings and events, which can be accessed on a bookable basis
A base for Age Concern for follow up advice and information
A dedicated desk for use by Northumbria Police which will be used as a hot desk by the Whitley Bay neighbourhood team.
Jobcentre Plus are also likely to have space in the building.
Managing Director for Robertson Andy McLeod said: "We have been working with North Tyneside Council for a number of years on the Whitley Bay Joint Services Centre project and are delighted to get started on site.
"I was born and brought up in Whitley Bay so as a local boy it`s great to see this project finally coming to fruition"
Russell Taylor, Operations Director at developer NNT LIFTCo, said: "This is major step forward for Whitley Bay's largest regeneration scheme and great news for the local community.
"We are very excited to deliver this important project which will regenerate Whitley Bay."
For further information please contact Newcastle and North Tyneside LIFTCo