Work starting on Blyth town centre regeneration
Initial works are getting underway on the regeneration of Blyth town centre.
Work is due to start on Bowes Street on Sunday and is part of the £1.3million Northern Gateway Phase 1 Scheme.
The project is the first planned in the Energising Blyth Regeneration Programme aiming to revitalise the town centre.
Officials at Northumberland County Council say the project will improve the look and feel of Bowes Street, Wanley Street and Church Street and include new paving, wider footpaths, on-street parking and improved lighting.
As part of the work on Bowes Street the road will be upgraded, including improved cycling provision, plus a one-way system encouraging safe and sustainable transport in the area.
The preliminary work, which will last a couple of days, involves removing the existing brick planters along the eastern part of the street.
Council officials say all affected premises have been contacted directly to inform them of this work.
A council spokesperson said: “The work will give access for utility providers who will be doing further work over the next three months prior to the main construction of the improvement scheme.”
Blyth Valley MP Ian Levy said: “Bowes Street and the surrounding streets have great potential but have been held back by the poor condition of the public realm.
“I was asked last year for schemes of this type that could be brought forward and had no hesitation in suggesting this area for investment which had been talked about for a long time with no action.
“Thanks to the Government funding and the generous backing from the County Council a project will be delivered on a scale that will make a huge difference for businesses and for shoppers.”
Coun Richard Wearmouth, the lead from the County Council, added: “This project is the beginning of a number of initiatives to improve the sustainability of the town centre.
“Preliminary works will start in the next few days with the full scheme completed by early next year.
"The extra funding from the County Council increased the scope and means it will properly tie in with further investment.”
The main works are expected to be complete by early 2022.
The project is a partnership scheme delivered and funded by the County Council, Blyth Town Council, with support from the Government's Accelerated Towns Fund.