An arson attack in February caused major damage. Staiths Friends launched a campaign to support repairs. STAITHS FIRE CAMPAIGN 2019
Over £4,000 has been raised, funding a fence around the burnt zone. This enables Staiths to open from Easter weekend. Fundraising continues to enable repairs to damaged areas.
Dunston Staiths, on the River Tyne, is believed to be the largest timber structure in Europe. It is a Scheduled Monument, Grade II listed and is owned by registered charity Tyne and Wear Building Preservation Trust (TWBPT).
Opened in 1893 by the North East Railway Company, it was built to allow large quantities of coal arriving by rail from the Durham Coalfields to be loaded directly onto waiting colliers (coal ships) ready for the onward journey to customers in London and abroad. At the coal industry's peak around 5.5 million tons of coal was moved this way each year.
As the coal industry declined during the latter part of last century, so too did Dunston Staiths, eventually falling into serious disrepair. Some reprieve came from the National Garden Festival held in Gateshead in 1990, which saw extensive restoration work carried out, with the Staiths taking a leading role as a key installation with performance space and an art gallery.
Sadly, the landmark structure's luck didn't hold. A serious fire in 2003 inflicted extensive damage putting the Staiths on Historic Englands 'At Risk Register'. Fortunately, TWBPT succeeded in raising the funds required to kick start the ongoing restoration which has seen it transformed into an exciting and sustainable visitor attraction.
Our work is supported by a strong Volunteers Group, Staiths Friends. You can find out more about the Staiths and opportunities to get involved yourself by clicking the 'support us' button below.DOWNLOAD LEAFLET