September start for Blyth public realm works
A £2.7m improvement programme to transform the Bridge Street area is inked in to start this autumn, said Northumberland County Council.
Following design work and engagement with residents, businesses and key stakeholders, the path is clear for a project designed to deliver a welcoming entrance to the town centre, with improved walking and cycling routes.
Design firm Southern Green is working with the council on the project.
This project is part of the £90m Energising Blyth regeneration programme, funded by NCC and national government, the flagship project of which is the £14.7m cultural venue and Market Place improvement scheme approved this summer.
The local authority has also moved to acquire the troubled Keel Row shopping centre, set to close in 2024, to better shape the town centre’s future direction.
Access to all businesses and bus services in the area will be maintained throughout the phased delivery of the Bridge Street works, NCC said.
Temporary road and footpath closures will be in place during each phase of construction, and a diversion will be in place. The scheme will be completed by winter 2024.
The improvements are designed to ensure that cyclists and pedestrians can access a much-improved connection between the Quayside and town centre, increasing connectivity with the North Sea cycle route and Coast & Castles cycle route, both of which currently bypass the high street.
Cllr Wojciech Ploszaj, cabinet member for supporting business and opportunities at Northumberland County Council, said: “We are proud to unveil the fantastic improvements that will be delivered on Bridge Street.
“The improvements to the area will make the whole are feel more welcoming, safe and accessible for all to boost trade in the town centre connecting the town centre more effectively with the Quayside offer.
“The scheme includes new areas of enhanced public realm and greenery enhancing the historic character of the street, traffic calming measures including safer crossing points and a dedicated area for a taxi rank in the centre of town alongside a new cycle route. Together with the major investment on Market Place this investment will make help us to transform the town for everyone’s benefit.”