Decision is due on revamp of town

MP Ian Lavery beside The Gap at the Market Place, Bedlington.
REF 1710145974
MP Ian Lavery beside The Gap at the Market Place, Bedlington. REF 1710145974
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Plans to breathe fresh life into a town square are nearing completion.

More than 1,000 people got involved in a series of events to view designs for the regeneration of Bedlington town centre.

An open competition saw two design companies unveil their plans, with more than 680 comments made by residents and stakeholders.

The competition will inform the design process and the next steps will be announced in a ‘matter of weeks’.

Feedback included the need for the designs to create ‘new town centre living opportunities’ and the bulk of new homes included in the design competition marketed as ‘starter homes’ for families looking for their first homes.

Coun Alyson Wallace, who chairs the regeneration partnership, said: “I’m delighted that the local community has been so positive and involved in the design competition.

“We’re committed to making the project a real jewel in the crown for Bedlington.

“We want to breathe life into our town centre, provide new shopping opportunities and create the type of vibrant, healthy culture that exists across Europe in towns

“There’s no reason why we can’t see a café style culture which reflects the desires of residents in Bedlington and beyond.

“These plans are only part of a wider plan to invest heavily in our town. We’re pushing to get started on the demolition of the old Tesco site and from that demolition, we’re confident the new plans will progress at a significant pace.”

Dean Jackson, Bedlington’s Town Centre Champion, said: “When I was appointed to champion our town centre, I promised that we’d involve as many local residents in the burgeoning plans as possible and it’s great to see so many people get involved in the competition.”