Mark Steedman


Blyth Engineering and Creative Collaborative

The thesis is located in Blyth, a coastal town in south east Northumberland, approximately thirteen miles north east of Newcastle upon Tyne.

The town was once a centre of engineering and industry supporting large numbers of workers but was left seriously affected when its principal industries of coal mining and ship building went into decline and closed altogether by the end of the twentieth century.  Three generations of unemployment have created the highest economic deprivation in the county, dramatically lowered educational achievement and increased anti-social behaviour in the area.

The proposal, situated on Commissioners Quay, provides facilities for two grassroots organisations – the Blyth Tall Ship project and Headway Arts.  By combining these facilities on this site, the project addresses the issues of educational underachievement and social exclusion through vocational training and participation in ‘hands-on’ activities.

The legacy of the scheme incorporates three components – a Theatre, Educational Facility and Research and Incubation Units.