Plans submitted to transform Blyth town centre

Ambitious proposals to transform Blyth town centre through the £675m Future High Streets Fund have formally been submitted.

It comes after the County Council confirmed last month it would submit an expression of interest for the town.

The submission seeks support from the fund to develop a new deliverable masterplan and investment strategy for the town centre.  If successful there will then be the opportunity to apply for further capital investment up to a maximum of £25m from the fund, to support projects in the town.  

Proposals will explore options to remodel the town centre, improving connectivity to the Riverside and South Beach to attract higher footfall.  This will include establishing plans to deliver a future proofed mixture of uses including retail, leisure and housing.

The project will also consider how low carbon technology can be used in the town centre; helping businesses reduce energy bills.

The council and its development company; Advance Northumberland, will continue working with stakeholders through the Blyth Town Forum to progress the bid.  This will include significant stakeholder and public engagement.

The outcome of the application to the Future High Street Fund is expected from Government this summer.

Paul Johnston, Interim Executive Director of Place at Northumberland County Council, said: “Our work in Blyth, alongside other towns in Northumberland, is all about working with partners to develop schemes that can transform our town centres, in what is a challenging period for the high street.  

"This application to Future High Streets Fund signals our intent to develop a new positive programme to improve the town centre and to attract Government’s support to help us achieve our aims.”

Greg Gavin, Blyth Town Forum Chair added: “The Forum has brought together local businesses, the County and Town Council and other partners such as Active Northumberland to back this ambitious new proposal to transform the town centre.

“We are looking forward to planning events and activities to engage businesses and users of the town during this year, to ensure that we can develop and deliver solutions to make Blyth a town which is fit for the future.”
 
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