As members of Northumberland County Council and Blyth Town Council, we have moved heaven and earth to try and persuade the owners of the Hedley Young (Poundstretchers) building to bring it into a fit and modern state.
We’ve suggested redevelopment, we’ve approached potential purchasers, we’ve worked with Arch, the Northumberland development company, to propose alternatives, and the owners have refused to engage with those suggestions.
Our letters and emails have met with responses that, in retrospect, seem to be just delaying tactics.
The owners now tell us they intend to apply for a grant to repair the historic fabric of the building.
We welcome that and look forward to work starting, because the current state of the building is a blight upon our town and is harming its image.
We have to say, though, that enough is enough.
If the promised works are not completed then we will make clear in public our disappointment, and we will ask the county council to use every power available to it to repair this scar on our town centre.
Coun Carol Bruce and Coun Kath Nisbet