South Tyneside Heritage Trail

Tyneside Heritage Trail logo
©South Tyneside Council

Region: North East

Local Authority: South Tyneside

Owner Type: Mixed

Funding Body: Single Regeneration Budget

Year of Intervention: 2004

Summary: Residents and visitors can now learn about the fascinating history of South Tyneside and get healthy at the same time by following the Borough's new Heritage Trail.

Description: South Tyneside is located on the South banks of the River Tyne, 10 miles East from Newcastle and Gateshead.  It has a rich and vibrant heritage including remains from the Romans, Anglo Saxons and more recently its huge industrial legacy of the fascinating shipyards and coalmining culture. 
Issue: The Heritage Trail project has been developed as an innovative regeneration scheme that combines employment, training and heritage. Launched in May 2004, the Trail follows a route of approximately 26 miles which takes visitors through most of the towns and villages in the Borough. The trail brings together life in many forgotten areas in the Borough and touches on significant heritage values, architecture, contemporary art and recent industrial heritage.

The Trail is designed to be easily broken down into a series of smaller circuits, while much of the route can also be visited by car or bicycle. Most is also wheelchair accessible and regular guided walks take place exploring different sections of the Trail.

The Heritage Trail has been created by South Tyneside Council's Cultural and Community Services and Groundwork South Tyneside, with funding from the Single Regeneration Budget. Much of the route follows established trails and footpaths.

32 large information panels positioned around the Trail introduce visitors to many aspects of the area's natural and cultural heritage. Members of South Tyneside's Heritage Forum and other local people helped to shape the Trail and contributed stories, photos and artwork for the panels. Further developments for 2005 will include a new guide to cycling the Trail, and a self-guided audio CD which visitors will be able to purchase or borrow.

Part of the project is an employment project managed by Groundwork South Tyneside. This has provided a number of Trail Stewards who are responsible for leading walks, giving information and developing and caring for the trail itself.

Outcome: South Tyneside’s Heritage Trail is set to become a major success, significantly increasing access, enjoyment and interpretation of the areas local heritage. During a Bank Holiday Weekend in 2004 wardens were inundated with eager walkers. Despite changeable weather 80 walkers joined in the tours. So far 9 unemployed people from the Intermediate Labour Market have been appointed to act as wardens.

Keywords: Education and Outreach; Display and Interpretation; Social Inclusion and Access

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