Whopping £12.4 million funding package for transport in Blyth is approved

A Northumberland town is set to benefit from a multi-million pound funding agreement in a bid to solve its chronic transport issues.

By James Robinson
Tuesday, 12th July 2022, 4:16 pm

Northumberland County Council’s cabinet has agreed on Tuesday to spend almost £12.4 million on the three “Energising Blyth” connectivity projects.

It will see a cycle corridor built between Blyth and Bebside as well as the “comprehensive improvement” of the Northern Gateway and highway improvements along Bridge Street.

It comes after the Blyth Town Investment Plan highlighted that the current road layouts within and around Blyth “constrain all movement” – particularly for public transport users, pedestrians and cyclists. The project will be jointly funded by Northumberland County Council, the Future High Streets Fund and Town Deal funding.

Gridlocked traffic in Blyth town centre.

The council will pay £3.88 million for the proposals. The FHSH will contribute £1.67 million and £6.85 million will come from Town Deal Funding.

It marks the continuation of significant investment in the area, with Britishvolt and JDR Cables soon to set up shop at nearby Cambois and the long-awaited Blyth relief road currently being considered by the Government.

Speaking at the meeting, council leader Glen Sanderson said: “It’s a significant amount of money here for these projects. Blyth will see significant funding coming in.

“It’s great news and I’m very much in favour of it.”

At the same meeting, the cabinet also approved a request for additional funding to deliver a welding and fabrication centre in the town. The plans were originally approved last July, but the increase in construction market costs means an additional £300,000 is needed to complete the project, on top of the £1.08 million previously agreed.

Cabinet member for business, Wojciech Ploszaj, said: “We spoke about this last year and I said then that it was a very important project for south east Northumberland’s manufacturing sector.

“All those employers identified fabrication and welding as skills with a very high demand. I know we’re struggling with inflation and this is just another example of that, but I strongly support this.”

On the Energising Blyth projects, he added: “Without this, all of those projects would not bring any substantial regeneration to the area.”