ARBEIA ROMAN FORT/SOUTH SHIELDS MUSEUM AND ART GALLERY FEASIBILITY STUDY
Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums/South Tyneside Council
South Tyneside Council has embarked on an ambitious redevelopment project that will open new venues in South Shields, improve the public realm, and enhance the overall offer to locals and particularly visitors. As part of this programme, the council, through Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums, commissioned a review of two of South Shields’ flagship visitor attractions, Arbeia Roman Fort and the very successful local history museum, South Shields Museum and Art Gallery. The review aimed to test the development potential of both attractions within the particular context of the wider redevelopment of the town’s offer.
Jura Consultants lead a team including interpretive planners and designers to review the current performance of both sites, undertake an audit of facilities, interpretation and visitor experience, and appraise development options that would make the most of each site’s potential. For Arbeia Roman Fort, we developed a progressive model that achieved the council’s immediate aim of improving the site, with a medium-term capital project to follow that will see the site take its full place amid the other attractions on the Roman Frontiers (Hadrian’s Wall) World Heritage Site.
For South Shields Museum and Art Gallery, we proposed a long-term project to reconfigure spaces and thus ensure the continued performance and sustainability of the site in the context of much increased competition from other sites due to the council’s development projects in the town. Beside full appraisal of capital costs and revenue, we also provided a funding programme.
In 2016 Arbeia Roman Fort was awarded £150,000 from DCMS/Wolfson Museum and Galleries Improvement Fund.