Former town team gains development trust status

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A group that works to promote a Northumberland town has achieved Development Trust status.

Formerly known as Blyth Town Team, which was set up in September 2012, The Blyth Development Trust works to promote the seaside town as a great place to work, live and visit.

The Blyth Development Trust currently works with Blyth Town Council, Northumberland County Council, The Port Of Blyth, Active Northumberland and Blyth Tall Ships Trust, to build on the work they have already undertaken, which resulted in a third place award in the British High Street Awards Coastal Communities category.

This was awarded for their creative use of an empty shop unit in the town to build a rowing skiff which lead to the birth of Blyth’s Skiff Racing Club.

They will continue to help to promote and support economic activity in Blyth and improve local services and amenities by encouraging retail activity and a more vibrant town market and by helping to facilitate and promote events, including the Christmas Fair and forthcoming Northumberland Yacht Plate.

The group has also helped to re-launch the town’s annual maritime festival, organised a youth market which considerably increased footfall to the market place and helped to facilitate and organise small and large scale events.

Blyth has recently hosted a few major North East events, including the Northumberland Live festival, which attracted 11,000 people. It will host the Tall Ships regatta next August, before the ships set off on a race across the North Sea to Gothenburg in Sweden, and the Northumberland leg of the Tour of Britain cycling event this September.

The Blyth Development Trust Chairman, Jane Freeman, said: “I am delighted that we can move forward in a positive way as for far too long Blyth has undeservedly suffered from negative publicity and it has always been the main priority of our group to readdress this. We’re passionate about making Blyth a great place to live, work and visit and we have a lot to be positive about including new housing developments, the regeneration along the Quayside and of course our beautiful beach and park.

“We know we have challenges, including improving and encouraging people to visit the town centre.

“With the support of our various partners we are at last making further progress to restoring pride back in to our town and community.  We have some fantastic opportunities coming up to really continue to put Blyth ‘on the map’.

Blyth Valley MP, Ronnie Campbell,said: “I am delighted that Blyth Town Team have got Development Trust status as this will help to put Blyth on a good footing to move the town forward. It will give them access to funding, previously unavailable to them. Anything positive like this that can raise the profile of Blyth is always a welcome thing.”

For further information and to find about more about The Blyth Development Trust activity follow them on twitter @teamloveblyth and on facebook, Love Blyth.