A Bit of Background
A major landmark in the Tyne corridor, Dunston Staiths is a Scheduled Ancient Monument, Grade II listed, and on English Heritage’s ‘Heritage at Risk’ Register.
It is owned by the Tyne and Wear Building Preservation Trust (TWBPT), who with the help of Heritage Lottery funding, support from English heritage, TWBPT, Garfield Weston Foundation, Taylor Wimpey, Sir James Knott Trust, LEAF, and public donation, plan to make this iconic structure into a sustainable visitor attraction.
A registered charity established in 1979, Tyne & Wear Building Preservation trust (TWBPT) preserves local architectural heritage through the repair, conservation and regeneration of our historic buildings and structure of special historic, architectural, or townscape interest for public benefit.
In partnership, TWBPT, Durham Wildlife Trust, English heritage, and Gateshead Council, are focused upon built and natural environment of the Staiths site – restoring public access to the Staiths by repairing the first 40 frames in a structurally sound condition, and improving g the natural habitat to protect native flora and fauna, wildlife and breeding sites.
Alongside the physical restoration, an activity plan is being delivered to reconnect the Staiths and Saltmarsh gardens to the local area, develop awareness and understanding of its significance, and give the project long term sustainability through interpretation, events, activities and learning programmes.
While the Staiths will be substantially closed to public access during the winter months when surfaces become slippery and to protect roosting birds, it is planned that the western end of the Staiths will be accessible to the public during the summer season.
What Northern Architecture Are Doing.
Northern Architecture have been commissioned by TWBPT to deliver three of the activities in the activity plan.
These are: to run a STEM (Science, Engineering, Technology and Maths) project with children at the local secondary school and primary schools in the area; to work with local children to run creative projects that encourage children to look at the Staiths differently and to help them earn their Bronze Arts Award; to run Staiths stories, an oral history community project, gathering the stories of the Staiths past and present for workers, local people and history specialist, building a picture of the history of the Staiths and its importance in the local area.
The team at Northern Architecture are
Lindsay Duncanson, Michele Allen, Sara Cooper, Kate Percival, Lowri Bond
To find out more about Northern Architecture and the work we do in the region, please visit http://www.northernarchitecture.com