College would be for future

It was wonderful to read Eric Goodyer's comments about the real need for a college of further education at the Kwik Save site, (Berwick Advertiser, April 28). At last, someone is talking some sense.

Friday, 6th May 2016, 12:00 pm

At present, the council has opted to take over the site and use it for administrative purposes, with a view to creating 250 jobs, which would increase footfall in the town.

Sounds good so far, but what I fail to understand is that only two years ago it opted to move out of Berwick to Morpeth at great expense.

Also, it recently announced that it is spending millions on moving to Ashington, and now the council is going all over the place. I sense muddled and confused thinking here, mixed with inadequate strategic planning.

Wouldn’t it be a better option instead to have 2,500 to 3,500 students from within the region and without, thus increasing the footfall in the town centre by a factor of at least 10?

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This will serve to retain our bright young people in the area, as well as attract more here. They will spend their student loans in the local shops and pubs. Empty accommodation above the shops will be in use once again. It will provide yet more income to our local area.

Parents of students will regularly visit their little ones at weekends, filling up local B&Bs with paying guests, and they will spend a lot of money on food, entertainment and essentials for their offspring.

They will also want to visit Berwick Barracks, Holy Island and all the other lovely places that we have on offer. The future of our railway station would be assured too.

Many of these young people will remain in Berwick after they have qualified. They will get married and settle down. Having a good education, they will start up new businesses in Berwick, which will provide a further, much needed boost to our economy.

If the council took this route, Berwick would start to feel the benefits immediately.

In five years’ time the town would be in a very strong position. It would be a thriving commercial hub of the North East once again, as well as a place that the rest of the country would look up to and want to emulate.

Is it too late to rethink the future of Kwik Save car park?

For all our sakes, can’t the council reconsider its decision and look at options that would be of real benefit to the town?

On the other hand, does it really want progress and full employment in this town?

Hugo Sanders

Berwick-upon-Tweed