Hundreds of exasperated residents are expected to descend on Bedlington this weekend as the call for greater investment in the town centre gets louder.
Support is growing for the ‘Make a Noise for Bedlington’ campaign, which was started by two residents concerned at the lack of investment in the town.
We are only going to get louderWendy Reed
More than 1,500 have now backed the campaign on Facebook, while more than 6,000 flyers will have been distributed promoting the demonstration day in the town this Saturday, May 2.
“Many businesses on Bedlington Front Street are now showing their solidarity by displaying the distinctive posters that highlight the campaign and its intentions,” said organiser Wendy Reed.
“The town is in severe decline. Has anything been done to save Bedlington? Not as far as I can see.
“We are only going to get louder.”
The campaign has now gained the support of Bedlington celebrity Jayne Middlemiss.
She said: “I have been spending a lot of time there so am not shocked and know what is happening. It’s sad. I would like to help out if and when I can.”
The campaign is already having some effect, and has prompted Northumberland County Council to speed up plans to develop the town.
Steven Mason, lead executive director at the county council, said: “The council is fully committed to supporting regeneration and business growth in town centres and we are looking as a matter of urgency at future options for Bedlington.
“We are working actively, through Arch, to ensure that Bedlington town centre has the best possible opportunities for the future, including supermarket provision.”
The council’s proposals for the town, would see the current dated council offices building on Front Street demolished and made available for suitable development.
Locals are encouraged to gather in the market place on Saturday, May 2, shortly before noon, to ‘Make a Noise’ for Bedlington for 15 minutes.
St Cuthbert’s Church will join the demonstration with a symbolic ringing of the church bells for five minutes during the event.
The group has approached each of the political candidates for Wansbeck, with further meetings planned this week.
For more details of the Make a Noise for Bedlington Campaign, visit www.facebook.com/MAN4Bedlington