Department store sale may be ‘rebirth’ of town

A major retail outlet that closed last June has been sold in what is being described as a town’s ‘rebirth’.

The News Post Leader reported last year how the Westgate department store in Blyth would close with the loss of 34 jobs.

Now West Yorkshire-based Commercial Development Projects Limited, part of the Marshall Construction Group, is looking to change the building from one large store to a number of new shops with housing above.

Northumberland County Council leader Grant Davey said: “The news that Blyth’s biggest eyesore has been sold to a development company means that the town now has the opportunity to get itself out of the doldrums.

“This timing couldn’t be better, with Blyth just beginning its rebirth as a commercial centre through the Enterprise Zone work taking place along the riverside.

“A myriad of new housing types are also being developed to grow the community, and this combined with measures to lower unemployment means the town centre can begin to make a comeback.

“We will work hard with Blyth Town Council and assist with the development of their neighbourhood plan to ensure that development in the town becomes prime whilst secondary further development along Cowpen Road is placed on the back burner.”

Blyth Valley MP, Ronnie Campbell, added: “I am delighted to have been working very closely with Anglia Co-op and I am very glad that the sale has now materialised.”