Work starts on Bedlington town centre project
Work is starting on a multi-million project to regenerate Bedlington town centre, creating new jobs in the process.
Advance Northumberland says that preparation work is underway on the scheme which will see Aldi open a new 19,000sq ft store by the end of the year.
The current work in the rear car park is in preparation to allow Aldi to begin ground works prior to building the supermarket.
Further activity on the Market Place is taking place ahead of the front being demolished to accommodate the next phase which includes the building of retail units with apartments above designed to blend in with the style of the Front Street, with Greggs continuing to trade throughout.
Work is being done to progress additional further phases to the scheme with an enterprise hub and a leisure offer also being worked up.
Advance Northumberland hope the new development will reposition Bedlington as a retail destination, improving amenities and giving local people greater choice.
Once complete it is estimated the combined schemes will create over 180 new jobs along with 70 construction jobs during the construction phase.
Bedlington Ward Councillor Russ Wallace said: “After taking over four years to progress to this stage, with many believing it would never happen, I know the people of Bedlington will be delighted with the news.
"Given the obstacles we have encountered along the way, the fact we are now seeing work started is testament to the dedicated work being done by both Advance Northumberland and Northumberland County Council in extremely difficult times.
"I am delighted that after far too long and a couple of false starts, work is underway on the Market Place development.”
Richard Wearmouth, Chair of Advance Northumberland, said: “The project is central to the regeneration of Bedlington Town Centre, we are delighted to announce a commitment to the scheme and provide much needed new retail amenities for local people.
"Aldi will provide a resurgence to the town Centre retail offer and will drive footfall to support and attract other retailers.
"We have put a significant amount of resources and time into this development, demonstrating our commitment to deliver the best possible outcome for Bedlington.”
Giles Hurley, Chief Executive Officer, Aldi UK and Ireland, said: “We have been investing in Britain for more than 30 years now, but we know that there are still areas that either don’t have an Aldi at all, or that need another store to meet customer demand.
“With shoppers increasingly looking to make sure they get unbeatable prices on their weekly shop without compromising on quality, our stores are becoming ever more popular.
“This investment in Aldi stores over the course of this year will help make the UK’s lowest-priced supermarket more accessible to even more people, and bring us closer to our long-term goal of having 1,200 stores across the UK by 2025.”