Masterplan begins to shape future of town

Alnwick Town Centre
Alnwick Town Centre

The first stages of a masterplan for Alnwick are under way, with the setting up of a new forum to oversee how the town develops over the coming years.

The Alnwick Forum is a partnership between Northumberland County Council, Alnwick Town Council and other key stakeholders.

Its purpose is to ensure, through ‘consultation, consideration and dialogue’, that the county council’s buildings and land in and around Alnwick contribute to the long-term benefit of the town and its expanding community, as well as meeting the county council’s wider objectives.

The forum is similar to the one set up in Morpeth, which began its masterplan last year and has led to a number of public events on the town’s future.

County Coun Richard Wearmouth, Cabinet member for economic development, said: “I’m delighted that we’re starting the process of masterplanning in Alnwick.

“The county and town councils will work together through this new forum to establish the best use of our key sites by both private and public sectors as the town develops. We want locals to be involved and have their say on the future of their town and this will be a key element as we go forward.”

The Alnwick and Denwick Neighbourhood Plan, which was made last summer, will drive the forum and its objectives and community actions will provide the framework for activity. The plan’s objectives, supported by consultation and dialogue, will form the basis of a new masterplan.

Alnwick councillors Gordon Castle and Robbie Moore sit on the forum. Coun Castle said: “This is part of the county council’s determination to put the future of our towns as far as possible in the hands of local people and local councils.

“This will complement the local plan for Alnwick and Denwick and enable more detailed and specific examination of key sites and how they should be dealt with in future.”

Alnwick Mayor Alan Symmonds said: “The county council owns important sites in the town and the forum should help ensure that there is an effective dialogue regarding their future use. In addition, we hope to have discussions with owners of some key privately-owned sites.”