MP COLUMN: Encouraging economic growth in south east Northumberland

Monday was Samaritans Brew Monday. This important campaign highlights that there’s no such thing as ‘Blue Monday’ and that mental health problems can and do affect people all year round.

By Ian Levy, Blyth Valley MP
Friday, 21st January 2022, 5:00 am
Updated Friday, 21st January 2022, 12:29 pm
Ian Levy with Wendy Morton MP, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Department for Transport.
Ian Levy with Wendy Morton MP, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Department for Transport.

I worked for many years in mental health services before I became a Member of Parliament and I know the importance of reaching out for a chat and a cuppa with friends, family or work colleagues.

If you suffer please don’t be afraid to ask for support and if you think somebody you know may be suffering please talk to them.

More details can be found on the Samaritans website via https://www.samaritans.org/.

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This week I met with Wendy Morton MP, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Department for Transport on Tuesday to discuss re-opening the Northumberland Rail Line.

I have worked hard to make the case to the Government for this transformational project which will bring new jobs to Blyth Valley and create a 'corridor of economic opportunity'.

Transport infrastructure schemes have been shown to catalyse economic growth and this scheme is one of the top national rail improvement priorities.

It will connect Blyth Valley residents to the region’s major cities and towns, reduce travel time, take cars off the roads and encourage more business investment in our constituency.

Aims of this project include journey times to Newcastle of less than 30 minutes, new stations at Ashington, Blyth Bebside, Bedlington Station, Newsham, Seaton Delaval and Northumberland Park and a half hourly service all day.

While the latest statistics released show unemployment levels much lower than were forecast at the start of the Covid pandemic our region continues to have higher levels than the country as a whole.

Northumberland is better than most of the North East but I am determined to do all I can to encourage economic growth in South East Northumberland that brings more and better jobs.

The Northumberland Line and investment by Britishvolt and others are key to this.