Tyne & Wear

Byker Wall homes in Newcastle reopened after renovation

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Media captionThe Bolam Coyne flats avoided demolition because of the estate's grade II listed status

Part of a well-known Tyneside housing estate, derelict for more than a decade, has been reopened after a multimillion-pound renovation.

Bolam Coyne is a group of 17 flats that form part of Newcastle's grade II listed Byker Estate.

Since 2000 all have been empty because shared access through balconies and courtyards, coupled with anti-social behaviour, made them difficult to let.

Each flat now has its own ground-level front door.

Your Homes Newcastle (YHN), which manages the city council's stock of 30,000 homes, co-ordinated refurbishment work.

YHN worked closely throughout the project with English Heritage, which provided a £200,000 grant.

'Visionary design'

Officially reopening the Bolam Coyne flats, English Heritage chair Baroness Andrews said: "English Heritage has always believed a solution can be found for the building.

"Having visited before the work started, it is fantastic to see an empty, fenced-off and forbidding area transformed to provide new comfortable homes."

The Byker Estate, known locally as the Byker Wall, was designed by prominent architect Ralph Erskine and built between 1969 and 1982 to replace demolished terraced houses.

It was given grade II listing in 2007.

YHN chief executive John Lee said: "Bolam Coyne has been transformed into a modern and sustainable living space, keeping Ralph Erskine's visionary design and architecture at the forefront of the major renovations."

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