Eyesore building could become a thing of the past

Poundstretcher store-Bridge Street, Blyth.'REF 0209147625
Poundstretcher store-Bridge Street, Blyth.'REF 0209147625
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An eyesore that has blighted a town centre could soon be a thing of the past if plans are approved to turn it into a new store.

Planning applications have now been submitted to convert the Poundstretcher site in Blyth into a mixture of apartments and high value retail outlets.

Development company Arch is currently working with Poundstretcher to secure the restoration of their building in Bridge Street.

The company said the move is the next step in the £10m revamp of the town centre and the construction of some of the first council built homes across Blyth for a number of years.

The Blyth Central Conservation Area Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) has helped to bring five historic commercial buildings back to life.

To date it has awarded £550,000 to help support local businesses in restoring their buildings, attracting £150,000 of their investment.

This will be the final THI project for the town funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund regeneration programme.

Blyth Valley MP Ronnie Campbell welcomed the moves to renovated the tired looking building.

“People have been rightly asking what is happening with the old Poundstretcher site in the town, so it’s good news that planning applications have now been submitted,” he said.

“With further development proposals and projects like the Commissioners Quay already under way, Blyth is set for new jobs, new affordable homes and much improved facilities which will be welcomed by all.”

The building is the former Hedley Young department store, which was an important community asset in Bridge Street for years.

The planning proposals seek to complete the transformation of the period building by repairing and restoring the facades and reintegrating it within the streetscape=.

Northumberland County Council leader Grant Davey said: “We’ve got ambitious plans for Blyth and we’re looking forward to working with everyone who has the interests of the town at heart.

“The Poundstretcher development is the latest scheme to highlight the regeneration of the town and people will be able to see this major refurbishment programme delivered over the next few months.”

Arch chairman and deputy council leader, Dave Ledger, 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.”

The town centre has also benefitted from a £650,000 investment to Blyth bus station, with improved facilities.

This has included improved lighting, paving materials, access, crossing points, soft landscaping and street furniture.

It is hoped work will start on the Poundstretcher building early next year.