Second building will be restored

Poundstretcher on Bridge Street in Blyth.

Poundstretcher on Bridge Street in Blyth.

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A second prestigious building in Blyth town centre is being restored following the success of the first project.

Arch has been working with Poundstretcher to secure the restoration of their building on Bridge Street, where a programme of works will fully restore the external elevations.

Specialist restoration contractor, Historic Property Restoration Ltd, have recently commenced the work, which will include repair and reinstatement of shop fronts, windows, masonry and roofs.

Poundstretcher are expanding their retail offer with a full refit and to occupy the former Blockbuster store. The restoration work will complete this spring.

This will be the final Blyth Central Conservation Area Townscape Initiative (THI) project which helps bring historic commercial buildings back to life. Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund with significant match funding from building owners, the Blyth Central Conservation Area THI will have seen a total investment of £1.36m.

Coun Grant Davey, Leader of Northumberland County Council, said: “I am delighted that our development company Arch has successfully taken the townscape initiative project forward – and that it is having such a positive impact on Blyth town centre. This work will restore a landmark building, greatly enhancing the visual impression for shoppers and visitors to the town.”

Historically, the former Hedley Young Department Store (now Poundstretcher) was an important community asset on Bridge Streetm.

The Central Conservation Area of Blyth has great heritage merit, with a number of fine commercial properties and the THI has aided the repair and restoration work to help restore that special character.

The buildings and businesses that have benefited from the grant funding include: Frameworks, the Grade II Listed Maharaja’s Lounge (former Lloyds Bank), Real Pizza and My Family Vets on Bridge Street -, The Beauty Factory and Rickard Chartered Surveyors on Havelock Street. In addition, Blyth bus station and the area in front of the Library has seen a revamp to help regenerate the Conservation Area.

Coun Dave Ledger, Arch Chair and Deputy Leader of Northumberland County Council, said: “The THI project has helped to show the vision and expected standard in terms of high quality design and craftsmanship.

“We see this work with Poundstretcher as completing the picture, helping preserve a historic building and creating a more enjoyable environment when shopping in Blyth town centre.”