While strolling along Riverside Walk passing 36 Lime Street artist’s studio’s and Seven Stories National Centre for Children’s Books, have you ever stopped to wonder about the noble ruin sandwiched between Lowes Hall and the Motor Boat club?

View of 26 Lime Street and the river walk way in OuseburnView of 26 Lime Street and the river walk way in Ouseburn

The building is the silently decaying 26 Lime Street, the last undeveloped 19th-century Ouseburn building, with a chequered industrial history from 1800’s oil mill to 1970’s garage. The building, along with the adjacent 17th-century granite slipway and the red-brick Victorian public convenience behind it, together form a site that the Ouseburn Trust has plans to transform into the Ouseburn Cultural and Heritage Hub.

The project will protect, interpret and bring into the public realm this at-risk waterfront industrial heritage site in the Ouseburn Valley Conservation Area. The project aims to:

  • save the historic quay wall on which the building sits, providing a 200-year layered construction history 
  • create a new environmentally sustainable building incorporating the original
  • deliver a community-focused, heritage and environmental activity programme
  • provide improved facilities for the photo and oral history archives, making these accessible to a variety of stakeholders
  • provide a merchandise and exhibition platform for ‘Made in Ouseburn’ products, linking past industries to contemporary makers
  • restore the locally listed granite set slipway, the access route to Ouseburn Quay since the 1640’s

Local architects Xsite Architecture have drawn up plans for a sustainable build based on the Trusts space calculations to achieve the vision for the building. Landscape architects Wardell Armstrong have submitted ideas for the sites overgrown, steep verge from Lime Street to the quayside, including a Dig for Victory garden to complement the Victoria Tunnel World War 2 education programme.

Ouseburn Cultural and Heritage Hub 26 Lime Street Xsite rendering for the Ouseburn Trust

A rendering of the Ouseburn Cultural and Heritage Hub at 26 Lime Street | by Xsite Architecture

With this project, the Trust wants to prevent further dereliction of an at-risk industrial heritage site of significance to the Ouseburn valley. Newcastle City Council have offered asset transfer to the Trust in recognition of a shared ambition to bring the area into the public realm and maintain a valuable wildlife corridor.

If the Trust is unable to take on the site, the chance of preserving the remains of the existing building becomes ever more remote.

Photo of 26 Lime Street, Ouseburn Valley