Call for consultation on Bedlington town centre scheme

Labour has called for a “full and meaningful” consultation on the overhaul of Bedlington town centre amid news that the project is getting back on track.

Thursday, 13th June 2019, 18:35 pm
Updated Friday, 21st June 2019, 14:21 pm
Bedlington site of old Tesco store.

Members say they must ensure that any development fits with the needs and ambitions of local residents and businesses.

It follows the announcement last week that building work on the retail scheme, which is led by the council-owned Advance Northumberland, will start early next year and take about 12 months.

In January, it was announced that the redevelopment had stalled, awaiting final sign-off from the anchor tenant, a supermarket.

But Advance Northumberland’s board recently approved a revised financial model and timetable, which relies on an extra cash injection of £1.4m from the council.

Coun Lynne Grimshaw, shadow cabinet member for regeneration, said: “The Labour Group welcomes, despite the long delay, the council looking to get this severely scaled-back project off the ground.

“However, approaching two-and-a-half years since the election, and following repeated setbacks and hurried announcements from the council, Bedlington residents need guarantees.”

She added: “We want to see a full and meaningful consultation with Bedlington residents, local organisations and politicians on this alternative proposal.”

Last week council leader Peter Jackson said: “We have been working very hard behind the scenes to get this up and running. I’m pleased that we are going to see spades in the ground.”