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Bensham and Saltwell

Bensham and Saltwell is located close to Gateshead town centre and boasts some of the borough's best leisure and cultural facilities.

Bensham and Saltwell architectureThis includes the award-winning Saltwell Park, the Shipley Art Gallery, Gateshead Central Library and Gateshead Leisure Centre. It even has its own independent theatre in The Little Theatre on Saltwell View.

The neighbourhood has a diverse population, with large Jewish and Muslim communities. In fact, Bensham and Saltwell is the largest centre for Jewish education in Europe and attracts Talmudic students from across the world.

The neighbourhood has local shopping areas on Coatsworth Road and Saltwell Road, many primary and Jewish schools, and lots of parks and open spaces.

Bensham and Saltwell has a mixture of homes. These include different styles of houses built between the late 1890s and 1980s, and many terraced, Tyneside flats built before 1919. There is also a large amount of private rented accommodation in the area.

Neighbourhood Action Plan

The Bensham and Saltwell Neighbourhood Action Plan identifies the main challenges facing this neighbourhood as:

  • not enough housing choice because of the large number of terraced properties (mainly Tyneside flats)
  • poor conditions at many homes
  • very hard street environments and back lanes
  • not enough good-quality open space

We've developed a number of projects to tackle these problems and improve conditions in the wider neighbourhood. These projects are:

  • external block improvements
  • neighbourhood management
  • selective demolition of a small number of Tyneside flats
  • new build houses to offer larger family homes
  • better regulation of private sector landlords and tenants
  • conversion of flats into larger houses
  • new and improved open spaces

Changing places

Lots of work has been done to improve conditions in Bensham and Saltwell. 

So far we've:

  • transformed more than 1,100 properties through the block improvement scheme
  • relocated over 80 households to new homes
  • created four pocket parks and added greenery throughout the community
  • renovated Avondale Park and Bewick Road Park
  • converted some small Tyneside flats into large family homes
  • started the clearance of empty Tyneside flats to make way for new build homes
  • worked with local Street Representatives to improve the quality of life in the neighbourhood
  • worked with landlords to improve the management of private rented properties and tenants
  • improved shops on Saltwell Road and started work to improve shops in the Coatsworth Road Conservation Area using heritage grants
  • built nine new eco-homes on Durham Road
  • carried out Decent Homes works on many properties

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