Next stage of plans for Ashington town centre approved

Funding has been agreed towards a multi-million pound scheme to transform Ashington town centre.

The council’s Cabinet has approved a £4.6m loan to Advance Northumberland along with a £3m grant, to create a cinema and shopping centre at Portland Park.

A report to Cabinet states: “If developed effectively, it is felt the site has the ability to transform Ashington and... reposition the town as a new retail and leisure led destination, driving footfall to boost the economy.”

The funding will be used by Advance to develop a 17,000 square foot, seven screen cinema. The company has also been able to finalise terms with a major retailer that would deliver a 20,000 square foot retail store with over 100 car parking spaces.

Finally a range of smaller shops will be built to encourage both national and local traders.

The total estimated development budget is £8.6m, the majority of which is funding the development of the cinema. The remaining £1m funding would come from the sale of the plot to a major retailer.

Ken Dunbar, Managing Director of Advance Northumberland, said: “It’s immensely satisfying for everyone in Advance Northumberland who are involved in bringing this fantastic new mixed development and cinema attraction to Ashington, thereby building on the huge success of Ashington Leisure Centre and supporting the ongoing regeneration of the town.”

*Accompanying image is an artist's interpretation of the cinema site and not the finalised design*
 
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