Maltings redevelopment at centre of plans for Berwick

Council leaders have announced support to develop new proposals to improve three town centres in Northumberland in addition to work already going on in other communities.

By Ian Smith
Tuesday, 05 March, 2019, 09:13
The Maltings

The county council is committed to working with town forums and similar partnerships to make the most of the county’s town centres, targeting interventions and support where it will have the greatest impact.

This week the council agreed:

To submit an expression of interest this month seeking support from the national Future High Streets Fund to develop a new, deliverable vision for Blyth town centre.

To support the development of the business case for the new Berwick Maltings Theatre and Conference Centre that has the potential to transform Berwick town centre.

To support the development of a feasibility study to establish how Alnwick bus station and the surrounding area can be improved as a key gateway into the town. Partners in towns across Northumberland are being encouraged by the County Council to develop proposals as part of the council’s new Town Investment Programme.

These first wave of proposals were put forward by Blyth Town Forum, Berwick Regeneration Commission and Alnwick Town Forum.

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The council’s offer to towns includes drawing in support and assistance from across the authority including Advance Northumberland to work with project sponsors to develop their plans.

Coun Richard Wearmouth, cabinet member for economy and regeneration and Chair of Advance Northumberland, said: “These proposals show our determination to be a county that works for everybody. We are working with our partners to develop schemes that can transform our town centres in what is a challenging period for the high street.

“Our work in Blyth, Berwick and Alnwick adds to the commitments we have already made, such as the new leisure centre in Morpeth, works on Bedlington Town Centre, Amble Enterprise Park, Lower Prudhoe, Manor Walks in Cramlington and the development of Portland Park in Ashington.

“We are talking to towns across the county to deliver what will be a comprehensive Town Investment Programme. There will be more news later this year as we identify projects which give us the best chance of attracting investment.

“Through our local county councillors, their town council colleagues and other strategic partners we’re demonstrating through town forums that we can work together to deliver solutions to make our town centres fit for the future.”