Image demonstrating Masterplan set to transform historic ‘core’ of Ashington

Masterplan set to transform historic ‘core’ of Ashington

A long-term masterplan to transform 'the core’ of Ashington made famous by miners, footballers and painters is to come before councillors. 
The Hirst Masterplan is a hugely ambitious future-looking project with a community led approach at its heart aimed a long-term regeneration of the area. 
The Hirst estate was developed in the early 1900s to house miners and their families working at the nearby Woodhorn Colliery and contains around 3,300 homes. It was the childhood home of the Charlton footballing legends and also played a central role for The Ashington Group, also known as the Pitmen Painters. 
After talking to residents about what they want for the future, the project will be wide ranging, from new housing, green spaces and play areas through to new businesses and homes powered by cleaner, cheaper energy sources. 
The County Council’s Cabinet are being recommended to work towards the ‘Do Maximum’ option, with the next stage establishing a Partnership Board with dedicated resources to help drive the project forward with the community on the ground. 
The draft Masterplan has had widespread public and partner involvement. It celebrates the proud history of the Hirst and the wider town but recognises that the area has suffered from a long-term issue and the decline of local industries.  
The Council and partners are now working to forge a new future for the Hirst. The wider town centre regeneration plans, arrival of the forthcoming Northumberland Line railway station, and investments like the new college for the town will help the Hirst area thrive again. 
The Masterplan is split into three stages, with main construction works scheduled from 2027 and progressing well into the 2030s. Ahead of that funding would need to be secured, while existing projects and initiatives to build on the strong assets within The Hirst would continue in conjunction with the community. 
Deputy Council Leader Councillor Richard Wearmouth said: “This masterplan is among the most ambitious projects this council has undertaken over many years. 
“It aims to build on the strengths of the Hirst to address the challenges in the area and make it a better place to live, tackling inequalities and driving forward economic growth. 
“It’s important to stress this is not a quick fix or a sticking plaster for the area, it’s a detailed long-term plan looking at every aspect of The Hirst, working alongside the people who live and work there, aiming to build a sustainable future over the coming decades.” 
More info can be found here -  Northumberland County Council - Hirst Masterplan
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