New blog for competition

Residents keen to hear the latest on plans for Bedlington can now keep up to date with a new blog.

Arch, the Northumberland Development Company, is leading on the design competition to kick-start the regeneration of the former Tesco site in Bedlington town centre.

The companies shortlisted to design its future look were announced in December.

Now a blog has been created - - where people can find out the latest information on the competition and find out how they can help choose the winner.

Five companies were shortlisted to develop proposals: Letts Wheeler Architects, Ryder Architecture, BDP, Leslie Jones Architecture and Xsite Architecture.

The competition will include community representation and culminate in a public exhibition in March 2016, ensuring that the winning design is commercially viable and has the support of the local community.

The winner will be appointed as lead architect for development of the former Tesco site. The first task will be to lead a master-planning exercise leading to an outline planning application later in 2016.

They will then design the phases of development in accordance with this plan.

It is envisaged that overall development will be progressed over the next five years.

Northumberland County Council’s Bedlington Town Champion, Dean Jackson, said: “The five companies are working hard to develop their proposals and later this month there will be a mid-way review of design ideas before the winner is unveiled at a public event in March.”

Bedlington Central Ward Councillor Alyson Wallace said: “Choosing a lead designer in this way will enable us to get on with the job confident in the knowledge that the approach we’re taking has support in the community.

“I’m looking forward to seeing what innovative and imaginative ideas are put forward which will help transform the town centre.”