Plans to give Bedlington the vibrant town centre that it deserves are moving to the next stage following funds being released by the board of Northumberland County Council’s regeneration company for a multi-million pound redevelopment. The scheme when completed will include a new store for a well-known food retailer, additional retail units, car parking and a number of new apartments which aim to transform the town centre economy. It is projected that up to 200 jobs could be created by the scheme once completed.

In total the next stage of the works are expected to cost just under £6.5m with other funds previously having been agreed for land acquisition and other preparatory works. The regeneration company is already in the process of discharging planning conditions for the scheme and tenders from contractors for the construction are due back within weeks, subject to agreeing contracts construction work will start later this summer.

Speaking about the news the Chairman Cllr Richard Wearmouth said, “The new council administration said from the outset that doing right by the residents of Bedlington was a key goal for us. These proposals have the potential to be truly transformational for the town, giving a boost to the high street by pulling in additional footfall and generating new jobs for local residents. I am hugely looking forward to the start of work on the ground later in the summer.”

The three independent Bedlington county councillors, Malcolm Robinson, Bill Crosby and Russ Wallace issued a joint statement saying, “This is very welcome news for Bedlington and something which collectively we have been working towards ever since our election last year. Bedlington has been Northumberland’s forgotten town for far too long and this project represents an important part making sure our town thrives for generations to come. We are delighted at this news and confident that residents will now give the development their full support.”