Green light given for Blyth town centre improvement works
10 Dec 2020 ARCHIVED (over 3 months old) - view latest news
The green light’s been given for expanded street improvements in Blyth town centre.
Works are now set to begin in January 2021 following a funding boost agreed by Northumberland County Council.
Views are also being sought via an online survey on a range of new projects in the town in scope for support through the Blyth Town Deal.
Earlier this year the council had confirmation from Government that its first phase of the Northern Gateway Project had been successful in securing £750,000 of early Town Deal funding to spend this financial year.
While the County Council and Town Council had already agreed contributions totalling almost £115,000 to improve Bowes Street, the Council’s Cabinet has now agreed another £455,000 in funding for further improvements in Wanley Street and Church Street.
The overall Northern Gateway regeneration scheme will include widening of footpaths, extra parking and the introduction of a one-way system running from west to east. It will also involve improving the look and feel of the area.
Councillor Richard Wearmouth, Cabinet Member for economic regeneration, said: “It’s great news we are able to expand the scheme to create further improvements in this key area of the town centre.
“This is the first step in delivering the Energising Blyth vision to renew and reshape the town centre, support new investment in the offshore wind and energy industry on the Quayside and improve connectivity including the reopening of the Newcastle to Northumberland line.”
Croft County Councillor Kath Nisbet said: “I’m pleased that this extra funding has been approved for the town centre. It’s a popular area with shoppers but is in need of some regeneration and I’m looking forward to this work starting.”
Mayor of Blyth Town Council Warren Taylor added: “Blyth Town Council is delighted that the proposed Northern Gateway scheme for Blyth is to receive additional funding from our colleagues in Northumberland County Council, making it a bigger, better, more encompassing project for people in our town.
“Expanding the former Bowes Street scheme, initiated by the Town Council, to include Church Street and Wanley Street, is most welcome. This will now form part of this much larger Town Deal initiative connecting to the anticipated Future High Street Fund projects in the town centre.”
Meanwhile, the Blyth Town Deal Board have now agreed the projects to submit to Government as a part of the Blyth Town Investment Plan in January 2021. This could secure up to a further £25m support to improve the town between 2022-2026.
The Town Investment Plan has been drawn up following the online community consultation in October which drew 250 responses where 92% of respondents agreed with the vision for the town and 93% with the objectives.
The team also talked to industry leaders and town centre business owners who were all supportive of the plans and keen to promote Blyth as a place of job opportunities for local people.
The Board now want to know what the local community think of the Town Deal projects and have set up a short survey which is available by going to www.northumberland.gov.uk/energisingblyth. The survey can be completed until 3rd January 2021.