Seven Northumberland towns earmarked for investment of up to £3 million each

People are being asked for their thoughts on the future development of seven towns across Northumberland.

Wednesday, 9th February 2022, 2:39 pm
Alnwick town centre.
Alnwick town centre.

Alnwick and Rothbury are among those identified as suitable for a ‘Place Plan’, which could ultimately attract up to £3m investment per town, to be spent over the next ten years.

Bedlington, Newbiggin, Haltwhistle, Bellingham and Prudhoe are also included.

The cash injection is part of the Borderlands Growth Deal, a £450m Government scheme targeting the five local authorities either side of the England-Scotland border. Within this, £50m has been set aside for the initiative’s ‘Place Programme’.

Rothbury

A short online consultation will be held for each of the seven towns over the coming months, asking people the best thing about their town, what they’d like to see improved and any ideas they have.

The first Borderlands Place consultation taking place is for Newbiggin and people can access the survey via nland.uk/Newbiggin until February 20.

The investment approach will vary between towns, depending on how each place has been impacted by Covid-19, and the types and scale of intervention needed to support their recovery, resilience and return to growth.

Rothbury was selected on the back of a ‘Revitalising Rothbury’ feasibility study carried out by YoungsRPS to examine what could be done within the town and help determine what the best way to proceed would be.

The study looked at how Rothbury could develop its economic, heritage and social offerings to support the town, surrounding villages and visitors that use it as a service centre.

Cllr Wojciech Ploszaj, cabinet member for regeneration with Northumberland County Council, said: “This Borderlands funding will be invaluable in helping to re-start local economies and towns as they emerge from the pandemic, focusing on repurposing towns and town centres and safeguarding and retaining as much as possible of the current business, employment, and population base.

“As well as buying and regenerating key sites and buildings, funding could also be used to boost the arts, cultural and visitor economy or improve community, skills and education facilities.

“One of the guiding principles of the project is putting communities at the heart of decisions about the challenges facing their towns and town centres and we hope as many people as possible will get involved.”

The Alnwick board includes representatives of Northumberland County Council, Alnwick Town Council, Alnwick Chamber of Trade, Alnwick Garden, Northumberland Estates, MSP, Bailiffgate Museum, Alnwick Civic Society, Gallery Youth and Karbon Homes.

More information on each of the town plans will be updated on the council website as their consultation dates approach. Details can be found at nland.uk/PlaceTowns

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Northumberland towns could get up to £3m each for regeneration