The People’s Mission is located in South Shields in an area known as “The Lawe Top” overlooking the mouth of the River Tyne and adjacent to the reconstructed roman supply fort, Arbeia, which was important during the building of Hadrian’s Wall – a world heritage site. The award-winning beaches, cliffs, caves and the coastal area, “The Leas”, owned by the National Trust are evidence of the attractiveness of the area together with open spaces and Victorian parks.
The heavy industry – shipbuilding and coal-mining – have been replaced by tourism and technology businesses and the council are endeavouring to upgrade the town centre. Recently opened “The Word” – the National Centre for the Written Word – includes the library with numerous activities and has a marvellous view up-river from its position in the market place. “Haven Point” is a new swimming pool and leisure centre near to Little Haven and Sandhaven beaches.
A new transport interchange makes for easy travel to Tynemouth, Newcastle and its international airport. Bus services cover the area with express routes to Durham – another National Heritage site. The Northumberland countryside and the Lake District are all within travelling distance.
A summer festival of entertainment includes various types of music, including brass bands at the seafront Amphitheatre, where the Mission band participates. These activities bring in thousands of visitors every year, and many businesses are thriving as a result.
Nearby Sunderland is the centre for Nissan car manufacturing and jointly with South Shields, the local councils are creating a manufacturing enterprise park, which will generate much employment in the area. South Shields is a vibrant centre for cosmopolitan restaurants which are very popular with residents and visitors.