Spanish City, Whitley Bay

Designed by Newcastle architects Cackett & Burns-Dick. When it opened in May 1910 the Dome of Spanish City in Whitley Bay was the largest in the UK after St. Paul’s Cathedral.

As part of a £64 million regeneration scheme for the area, Spence & Dower were appointed by North Tyneside Council in 2008 to advise on the conservation and repair of this Grade II Listed example of Edwardian seaside architecture. This iconic structure is one amongst only a few of such pleasure buildings still remaining in the UK.
The first phase of this project focused on making the building weather tight and consolidating what remained of the original building.

An historic paint conservator carried out an analysis of the finishes to the exterior and interior of the building and the copper ‘terpsichorean figures’ which originally adorned the towers either side of the main entrance, were cleaned and restored off-site by a specialist metals conservator and reinstated on the existing lowered towers. Following the consolidation work to all parts of the structure, we were commissioned to prepare and obtain Listed Building Consents and Planning Approvals for the rebuilding of the parts of the 1910 structure that were demolished during the period from 1950 to 2008. After obtaining all permissions and discharging all conditions, some of which entailed Spence & Dower carrying out Archaeological Building Records, the proposals for developing the whole site on the Council’s behalf, went out to European tender.

The development work of a new hotel on a part of the site, eventually started in 2012 and our proposed conservation work for the 1910 Spanish City building were included in its reinstatement as a leisure facility and completed in 2018.

Spanish City

Opening week, May 1910

Spanish City

Spanish City

Before work started in 2007

Spanish City

Spanish City

The Lantern prior to refurbishment

Spanish City

Spanish City

The Dome and Lantern after repairs and the reinstated flagpole

Spanish City

Spanish City

The Dancing Girls before repairs

Spanish City

Spanish City

After repairs and cleaning work

Spanish City

Spanish City

Spence & Dower Conservation Team on top of the Dome in 2009

Spanish City

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