Nearly £2m to be spent on revitalising Ashington town centre

Ashington is set to benefit from a £1.9 million transformation.

By Daniel Holland
Thursday, 21st July 2022, 11:48 am
Updated Thursday, 21st July 2022, 12:30 pm

The funding, from the North of Tyne Combined Authority (NTCA) aims to re-energise struggling shopping areas devastated by the Covid pandemic, the shift to online retail and the cost of living crisis.

It is giving £1.9m each to councils in Northumberland, Newcastle, and North Tyneside to improve Ashington town centre, the city’s east end and Wallsend.

Exactly what the money will be spent on is yet to be confirmed, but plans are set to be finalised this summer.

Ashington town centre is set to benefit from a £1.9m cash injection.

The NTCA said that Ashington town centre had been chosen because of “evidence of market failure and the need to kick-start regeneration in readiness for a further package of planned capital investment”.

Improvements earmarked there include upgrades to Wansbeck Square “to improve connectivity and to enable the square to be used for community-led cultural uses and a programme of events and festivals”.

Northumberland County Council also announced recently that it would be making a bid for £16m from the government’s Levelling Up Fund to help regenerate the town, which also includes the delivery of a cinema complex and restaurants at Portland Park.

Wansbeck MP Ian Lavery, who recently invited the former Levelling Up Minister Michael Gove to Ashington to see for himself how much investment was needed in the town, said: “Any news that more investment is coming into Ashington is only good news, and it is great to see the Labour-ran North of Tyne Combined Authority aren’t comfortable leaving Ashington behind like the government have been.

“But we mustn’t forget that Ashington is not the only place that is struggling.

"Towns all across Wansbeck like Bedlington and Newbiggin are in desperate need of investment into vital infrastructure upgrades and to get their high streets back on track.

"I will continue to do what I can to get more money flowing into all areas across the constituency.”

Carl Johnson, deputy mayor of North Tyneside, said: “We are tackling issues that affect local communities directly, not just here at cabinet but with our residents across the region, none more so than the Towns and High Streets Programme where each of our local authorities will be listening to communities in Ashington, the inner east of Newcastle, and Wallsend to test new models for high street transformation.