Blyth culture hub project featuring Jam Jar cinema recommended for planning approval

Council officers are recommending the planned culture hub project and Market Place refurbishment in Blyth is given planning permission by councillors next week.
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A decision on planning approval for the flagship regeneration project in the town will be made by Northumberland County Council’s Strategic Planning Committee on Tuesday, July 4.

The hub will include a movie theatre operated by independent Whitley Bay cinema Jam Jar, event spaces, a children’s creative play facility, and a cafe, as well as improvement works on public spaces in the market area.

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Planning officers said the scheme will be a “positive addition to Blyth” and advised the committee to green-light the scheme.

A CGI of the proposed new culture hub.A CGI of the proposed new culture hub.
A CGI of the proposed new culture hub.

The officers’ report said: “The application seeks to bring vibrancy back into the market square to stimulate the wider regeneration and renewal of the town.

“The application demonstrates how the scheme has been informed by an understanding of the townscape character and heritage assets and their significance, providing justification for the scheme, and demonstrates how the design and landscaping has evolved to complement and enhance townscape character.

“There are no outstanding objections from consultees or any concerns received from Blyth Town Council or local residents.”

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Northumberland County Council has previously said it hoped construction would begin after Blyth Carnival this summer and be complete by winter 2024.

Work to create new green space, install new street furniture and lighting, enhance the remembrance garden next to St Mary’s Church, and refurbish the area’s public toilets as part of the project is not expected to disrupt local businesses or weekly markets in the square.