Plans for the proposed development of Bedlington Town Centre has reached a major milestone where work has now begun, following a ground breaking ceremony on the site of the former Tesco retail store.Following its launch today Advance Northumberland is leading the delivery of a retail-led development that will regenerate a high profile, derelict town centre site, improving retail opportunities and giving local people greater choice.

Northumberland County Council has set up a new company to replace Arch Corporate Holdings. The new company is called Advance Northumberland and will have a clear remit to improve prosperity, quality of life and increase business activity throughout the communities of Northumberland.

Advance Northumberland will be building on what is already a very successful County, continuing to work cohesively and collaboratively with valued stakeholders and partners, delivering positive physical and economic development. Focusing on the needs and aspirations of the county, addressing economic and housing challenges whilst capitalising on Northumberland’s significant assets and opportunities, Advance Northumberland will seek to provide positive intervention across carefully selected regeneration, business support and place-shaping projects.

Tolent the appointed contractor on the Bedlington scheme will now commence an enabling package of works with the aim of having them completed by the end of the year. These works consist of site preparation and getting the site ready for construction to commence next year. Retail operators are unlikely to be confirmed until later in the year, but the scheme is likely to include a new supermarket, and a number of high street retail brands. It is estimated this exciting town centre scheme will create over 180 new jobs, along with 70 construction jobs during construction phase.