Investments worth nearly £76m across Northumberland

A Northumberland development company has delivered almost £76m of investment across the county.

Arch, was established by Northumberland County Council in 2012 as an arms-length organisation to drive capital economic development, physical regeneration, business growth and to attract investment, and its investments to date include £18,381,552.53 in Ashington, £1,865,588.28 in Bedlington, £21,967,661.03 in Blyth, and £7,106,676.85 in Cramlington,

Through the forthcoming five year economic strategy for Northumberland we will be building on this work to deliver our vision for a prosperous county – founded on quality local jobs and connected communities

Coun Grant Davey, leader of Northumberland County Council

Working to priorities set by the council, in the last three years new housing, commercial development and regeneration projects have been delivered and expectations have been exceeded on a number of major schemes.

News of these investments has come close on the heels of the latest employment figures which showed that the number of people claiming jobseeker’s allowance in Northumberland has dropped.

In Blyth for example the number of claimants fell by 349 between April 2014 and April 2015.

Investment is guided by the council’s objective to support major investment across the county looking for opportunities to bring forward projects in industrial, commuter and rural areas as set out in the new Northumberland Economic Strategy.

Arch projects sit alongside and are integrated with a wider suite of investment programmes delivered by the council, including for instance major transport and broadband infrastructure, culture and tourism events, employability and skills support and property reorganisation, supporting improved service delivery across Northumberland.

Arch has supported major interventions to increase inclusion in economic growth focusing on our sector strengths and excellent locations for energy and manufacturing specialisms to boost economic performance.

This includes in Ashington where Arch have invested over £18m contributing to the renewal of the town centre and in addition Northumberland County Council have invested £21m in the new Leisure Centre with support from Sport England through a contribution of £1m of National Lottery funding. In Blyth almost £22m has been invested in areas such as the new Commissioners Quay mixed use scheme to support communities and businesses.

Coun Grant Davey, leader of Northumberland County Council, said: “I am delighted that the council’s policies and ways of working are reaping rewards – as demonstrated by the drop in unemployment figures.

“We have taken a number of actions over the last two years all focused on supporting growth for businesses and communities alike, including major transport schemes such as progressing the Ashington, Blyth and Tyne Line investment, re-configuring our own services to focus on town centres, increasing the amount we spend on procuring services locally and via other actions such as supporting communities who wish to remove car parking charges – with many towns reporting an increase in trade as a result.

“Through the forthcoming five year economic strategy for Northumberland we will be building on this work to deliver our vision for a prosperous county – founded on quality local jobs and connected communities. I look forward to more good news on this front.”

Investment includes:

£18,381,552.53 in Ashington

£1,865,588.28 in Bedlington

£21,967,661.03 in Blyth

£3,005,383 in Choppington

£7,106,676.85 in Cramlington

£268,000 in Morpeth

£5,088,353 in Newbiggin

£2,842,509.50 in Delaval

£890,645.00 in Alnwick

£5,537,187 in Berwick

£6,872,400 in Amble

and £360,000 in Hexham