Plans to revitalise town centre are unveiled

Proposals for the regeneration of Bedlington town centre.
Proposals for the regeneration of Bedlington town centre.
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Plans to revitalise Bedlington town centre have been unveiled.

The retail-led £10million development has taken a step closer after the new proposals were unveiled at a consultation event in the town.

Proposals for the regeneration of Bedlington town centre.

Proposals for the regeneration of Bedlington town centre.

At the event, the proposals received near unanimous support with 98 per cent of attendees generally in favour.

The designs – available at www.investinginbedlington.co.uk – reveal plans that could create around 180 permanent new jobs for the town, injecting at least £1million into the local economy.

They could also create an additional 70 new jobs in the local economy, along with 33 construction jobs during the on-site construction.

Arch intends to submit an outline planning application in January, which will consider the feedback received through the consultation.

If approved, the proposals would regenerate a high profile vacant site, which currently lets down the historic core of Bedlington, improving retail opportunities and giving local people greater choice.

A spokesperson for Arch said that while retail operators are unlikely to be confirmed until after any outline planning permission has been granted, the scheme could include a new supermarket, other shops and services, as well as family friendly places to eat and drink.

The scheme is the centre piece of a wider £27million public and private investment programme in the town which has included a new school, investment in Gallagher Park, new private sector investment from Lidl which will see around 40 jobs created and new leisure facilities open to the public at Bedlingtonshire High School.

The investment plans also include a new one stop shop for council facilities as part of Northumberland County Council’s Market Towns Initiative which aims to return council jobs and services to market towns like Bedlington.

Terry Johnstone, councillor for Bedlington West speaking on behalf of his fellow councillors Alyson Wallace, Jeff Gobin and Val Tyler, said: “This is great news for the town as hundreds of new jobs, new opportunities to shop and enjoy the town are very welcome.

“The plans are an integral part of a wider and very significant investment plan for Bedlington with over £27m spent or committed to be spent in the town.

“These plans give an idea how the new retail development would look and the next step after this is to submit an outline planning application for the scheme, considering the feedback received because of this consultation.

“There’s a lot of interest from retailers in the new development and we’re confident that the new additions to our town centre will make it an even more attractive place to shop and enjoy.”