Business of the House

Part of Prayers - [Mr Speaker in the Chair] – in the House of Commons at 9:33 am on 13th May 2021.

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Photo of Ian Mearns Ian Mearns Chair, Backbench Business Committee, Chair, Backbench Business Committee 9:33 am, 13th May 2021

The Dunston staiths are a large timber structure on the south bank of the River Tyne in Gateshead that were used to load coal on to ships for transport to London and the south of England. The staiths were extensively renovated for their use in Gateshead’s garden festival in 1990, and they are an important symbol of our industrial heritage and a monument to the coal industry. At over 600 metres long, they are also a feat of engineering and construction in themselves.

Sadly, in recent years the staiths have been subject to several very damaging arson attacks, and the Tyne & Wear Building Preservation Trust simply does not have the resources to repair them properly. Could we have a debate about sustaining our industrial heritage, and would the Leader of the House please assist me in securing a meeting with a Minister from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to explore a solution to our ongoing repair and maintenance problems on one of the country’s most important industrial heritage landmarks?