Plans to buy the former Kwik Save supermarket for £1.1 million and turn it into offices have not impressed Berwick residents.
More than 20 readers posted comments on facebook in response to last week’s story ‘Council has £1.1m plan for eyesore’.
And the vast majority were dismayed to learn that Arch, the arms-length development company of Northumberland County Council, intends to turn the Walkergate unit into offices, possibly for council staff.
Instead, local residents want the site to be used to breathe new life into Berwick’s ailing town centre with suggestions including new shops, leisure facilities, a bus station and parking.
David Morton Mugen suggested: “How about they relocate to the Ramparts in purpose built offices at a fraction of the cost and sort out something worthwhile that will benefit the people of Berwick. Perfect coach park.”
Vikki Irwin complained: “There is so many things Kwik Save could be made in to that could bring in money to the town but yet again the council wasting more money on something we don’t need.”
Irene Windram suggested it should be turned into an indoor market similar to Newcastle’s Grainger Market or even a bowling alley.
And Janet Stewart wondered how Arch had suddenly decided what to do with the site and where the money has come from to fund it.
Lee Archer added: “Surely developing the site fit for a multi-purpose use makes for better business sense!”
Paul Potts asked: What’s the point in spending all that money on houses (Springhill and Roberts Lodge) when there isn’t gonna be any jobs around here to keep them going? They should consider building something that will allow people to get part time/full time work so if these houses are built people have got money to live in them.”
John Thompson said: This is just another daft idea in a long list of daft ideas from Northumberland County Council.
“We need footfall in the town to encourage new investment on the high street. The first part was free parking - this will help a bit but bringing tour buses to the town would also be a step forward.”
The Kwik Save site has belonged to the Homes and Communities Agency since One North East was disbanded.