Segedunum roof repairs approved following damage from thieves

Segedunum Roman Fort & Museum in Wallsend, North Tyneside.
-Credit: (Image: ChronicleLive)

Repair works to the roof of Wallsend’s Segedunum Roman Fort and museum have been approved following damage sustained by thieves.

North Tyneside Council announced that plans to repair and replace damaged parts of the UNESCO World Heritage Site’s roof have been granted and are expected to finish at the end of August. Follow-up related minor repairs and redecoration have also been scheduled.

The previous copper cladding on the roof will be replaced with steel seam cladding, which according to the local authority has no scrap value and is of no interest to thieves and vandals. In March this year, the Local Democracy Reporting Service reported the repair plans will be covered as part of a £499,999 grant from Arts Council England and separate funding from North Tyneside Council.

Geoff Woodward, Manager of Segedunum, said: “We’re delighted that this repair work is going ahead. The impact of the damaged roof has been frustrating for our visitors and challenging for the front-of-house team. It will be fantastic to see the roof restored and this popular World Heritage Site attraction back to normal.”

According to a statement from the local authority, while repairs are underway restrictions will be kept to a minimum to allow visitors to enjoy the site throughout the summer.

The state of the iconic venue’s roof first came to light in February when it was reported to the Local Democracy Reporting Service the museum had been targeted for valuable metals since July 2023. It was also understood that while initial repairs were undertaken in September last year, the resulting scaffolding allowed thieves further access to the roof, exacerbating leaks.

The news sparked calls for a larger police presence in the area of the Roman fort by local councillor Louise Marshall.

Segedunum became a scheduled ancient monument in 1982 and later a fully-fledged World Heritage site in 1987. It is managed by the local authority by Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums and has welcomed almost a million visitors since it opened in June 2000.