Plans for the proposed development of Bedlington Town Centre are progressing well with the main contractor appointment due in the coming weeks.

Arch and its successor company Advance Northumberland is leading the delivery of a retail-led development in Bedlington that will regenerate the high profile vacant site, improving retail opportunities and giving local people greater choice.

Work has been progressing throughout the year to close out planning conditions and to secure a construction contractor for the scheme. The tender process to secure a contractor has now been completed and a preferred contractor identified.  

Due to EU procurement rules the contract is currently going through a period of ten days during which unsuccessful tenderer may challenge the process. Subject to there being no challenge once this period is over the contractor will be formally announced.    

Separately there has been a planning application for the outstanding reserved matters due to come to a planning committee next month.

The economic benefit for the town will result in the creation of an additional new retail jobs in the local economy, along with 70 construction jobs during the development and build phase.

Richard Wearmouth Chair of Arch said: “The appointment of the main contractor will be a major milestone for the project and will be central to the regeneration scheme.  The Arch team have worked incredibly hard to get the process over the line and I am greatly looking forward to signing the contract to get works started.  

“Subject to there being no challenges to the tender process we should be able to award a contract in August or the first week in September with mobilisation on site in the weeks that follow.   

“We are committed to delivering this exciting scheme providing local jobs, new opportunities and new shops and services. There’s a lot of interest from retailers in the new development and we’re confident that the new additions to our town centre will make it an even more attractive place to shop locally”.

On behalf of fellow Bedlington Independent Councillors Malcolm Robinson and Bill Crosby, Cllr Russ Wallace commented, “We are delighted with the announcement of the start of the building phase of the Market Place development. This positive news will bring an end to a period of uncertainty among Bedlington residents over the future of the project”.