Councillor suggests Northumberland Line railway could be extended to Newbiggin

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
The much-anticipated Northumberland Line could be extended to more towns in the south east of the county, it has been claimed.

The deputy leader of Northumberland County Council suggested the line, which is set to open this summer, could also reach Newbiggin.

Furthermore, other stations could be added along the line at a later date.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The multi-million pound project will see the return of passenger rail to the area for the first time since the 1960s. The line will run from Ashington to Newcastle, stopping at Ashington, Bedlington, Blyth Bebside, Newsham, Seaton Delaval and Northumberland Park before continuing into the city centre.

Ongoing work on the Northumberland Line at Bebside. Picture: Ian BuistOngoing work on the Northumberland Line at Bebside. Picture: Ian Buist
Ongoing work on the Northumberland Line at Bebside. Picture: Ian Buist

Seaton Delaval, Newsham and Ashington stations are expected to open this summer, while the remaining stations are not expected to open until 2025 due to delays. However, speaking at Tuesday’s meeting of the council’s cabinet Coun Wearmouth claimed the line could go even further.

It comes after details of the £110 million fund from US equity firm Blackstone were unveiled. The cash comes as part of the company’s plan to build an AI data centre at Cambois near Blyth, alongside its data subsidiary QTS.

Coun Wearmouth said: “The brilliant deal we have with Blackstone secured up to £10 billion inwards investment at Cambois, but we also managed to secure an agreement of up to £110 million that will be paid to the council as the project progresses.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“That will start with £30 million made next year. We’re going to tie it very closely to our key priority of driving growth and delivering jobs for our communities – that is what this money is intended for and it is ring-fenced for that purpose.

“There are opportunities to link with our own strategic investments. That might be extending the Northumberland Line.

“I’m very much expecting that we will see feasibility work start up on that in due course, for example extending the line to somewhere like Newbiggin and delivering additional stations along the route. This is a fantastic opportunity for South East Northumberland and the county more widely as well, because we can use the funds elsewhere.”

A report presented to members explained that the fund, known as the growth and investment endowment fund (GIEF) will be paid out in stages, and linked to specific milestones of the data centre campus. An indicative timeline explained that £30 million would be paid out in 2025/26, £29 million in 2026/27, £29 million in 2028/29 and £22 million in 2030/31.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

These milestones include the securing of planning permission, power to the site, a lease agreement and the successful development of the site.

Coun Wearmouth also revealed that there are companies interested in investing in the county. However, due to confidentiality restrictions he was unable to go into further detail.

He added: “Part of this will be around land assembly to make sure we have enough employment sites. We’re already seeing a number of companies who want to come and site here in Northumberland, with potential to create many hundreds if not thousands of jobs.

“This will help us pave the way for that work. Obviously we can’t say a huge amount about it while those discussions remain confidential, but nonetheless we’re making very good progress indeed.”