Blyth town centre revamp now in final stretch

Poundstretcher, in Bridge Street, Blyth town centre.
Poundstretcher, in Bridge Street, Blyth town centre.

A £1.36m project to restore buildings in Blyth’s central conservation area is now in its final stretch.

Arch, Northumberland County Council’s development company, has been helping Poundstretcher give its store in the town’s Bridge Street, now expanded into the former Blockbuster video rental shop next door, a facelift.

The work is being carried out by specialist contractor Historic Property Restoration. The North Shields firm will repair and restore the shop’s frontage, windows, masonry and roofs, and it expects to finish the work by spring.

This is the last in a series of restoration projects in the conservation area, paid for by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the buildings’ owners.

County council leader Grant Davey, also a councillor for Blyth’s Kitty Brewster ward, 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 impac.

“This work will restore a landmark building, greatly enhancing the visual impression for shoppers and visitors to the town.”

Other businesses to benefit from the townscape heritage initiative, besides Poundstretcher, occupying the former Hedley Young department store’s premises include Frameworks, Maharaja’s Lounge, Real Pizza and My Family Vets, all in Bridge Street, and the Beauty Factory and Rickard Chartered Surveyors in Havelock Street.

Blyth’s bus station and the area in front of the town library have also been done up.

Arch chairman and council deputy leader Dave Ledger, also a ward councillor for Choppington, added: “The townscape heritage initiative 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.”