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Shaun Hughes' story

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ShaunHughes

Shaun enjoys a cuppa outside Vincenzo's café on Coatsworth Road

Saltwell resident Shaun Hughes has lived in the area for more than ten years and loves the central location of this neighbourhood.

"I feel like I'm central to everything - I can walk to work in Newcastle in less than 25 minutes; jump on the Metro to the airport or the coast; or get public transport to as far away as the University of Teesside where I recently studied.

"The town centre has a great variety of shops less than ten minutes' walk away, and Coatsworth Road is so varied that theoretically it would be months before I'd ever have to eat the same meal twice!"

Shaun's seen huge changes in his community over the past few years. "Since I've lived here, I've seen a lot of work done to the area…the streets have been repaved, Bensham Road widened and safe pedestrian crossings put in place, and a brand new and beautifully maintained Interchange Centre means waiting for a bus is no longer a battle with the elements!

"Next to my house, the Alexandra Road play area has been completely renovated and gets great use from the local kids. And the council is always working to clear rubbish, graffiti and keep the area clean."

So what are Shaun's hopes for the future of his community?

"Continued redevelopment! Especially the town centre - Gateshead is more than a stop on the way to Newcastle.

"The redevelopment of the Quayside has been the most noticeable of all the changes - I've walked the same route to and from work for over ten years and the view today is far removed from that of the abandoned shops, warehouse and pubs that lined my route ten years ago.

"Beyond the town centre and Quayside, improvements to the local area, including basic stuff like keeping streets clean and tidy, have improved the feel of the town.

"I am very proud of the area where I live and the history that goes with it. I hope others feel the same."