Work has begun for One North East to demolish the empty Tyne Bridge Tower, a 13-storey office block latterly used by the Inland Revenue in Gateshead and widely regarded as an eyesore which detracts from regeneration of Gateshead quays.
The seven-month demolition, which cannot use explosives due to other nearby properties, will leave a vacant landscaped site to be marketed by urban regeneration company 1NG.
"Tyne Bridge Tower has been empty for over five years and is a high profile site capable of supporting and improving links from Gateshead town centre to Gateshead quays," said ONE head of capital programmes Neil Graham.
"It is an unattractive building of low architectural merit and many would consider that it detracts from this important and prominent gateway site. We consider its removal a priority for the continued excellent regeneration of Newcastle Gateshead quayside. The site will be available for development as part of 1NG's proposals for the regeneration of the quays area of Gateshead."
1NG this week submitted a Regional Growth Fund bid to help fund a new convention centre on the banks of the Tyne.
Local construction and property consultant Summers-Inman is project managing demolition of the Tower, supported by multi-disciplinary engineering consultancy Cundall Johnston and Partners.
MGL Demolition has been appointed as principal contractor to carry out the demolition work.
"We welcome the demolition of Tyne Bridge Tower," said Gateshead Borough Council deputy leader Martin Gannon.
"We've invested a great deal of time and money into transforming Gateshead quays from an industrial wasteland into one of the region's cultural gems. As a result, Tyne Bridge Tower has been looking increasingly out of place. This area is at the heart of Gateshead's expanding creative quarter and its removal will not only rid us of one of the last remaining blots on this area's skyline, it will also provide space for future development and, hopefully, yet more jobs in the creative sector."