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John Dobson's Gateshead church to get long-awaited overhaul

After a 16-year wait, a derelict church in Gateshead designed by 19th-century Neo-Classicist architect John Dobson finally looks set to be redeveloped.

Four developers have put forward bids to regenerate St Cuthbert's Church, which was designed and built between 1846 and 1848 and has become a familiar landmark on the Gateshead skyline.

Three Gateshead-based developers and one American entrepreneur are vying for the church, which could remain as a place of worship or be developed into houses.

The church was declared redundant by the Church of England more than a decade ago, and fears had been raised that it might be demolished.

However, the four fresh bids have appeased local heritage groups, as well as the local council.

Speaking to the Newcastle Evening Chronicle, councillor Catherine Donavan said: 'Although it is still early days, it seems there are several organisations which have shown interest in restoring and reusing the building.'

John Dobson was one of the most prolific architects of his time working in the North East, and was responsible for Newcastle's Central Station and the All Saints Church.

by Richard Vaughan

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