The project is Levelling Up Fund-backed. Credit: NCC

Taylor Woodrow lands Northumberland Street contract

Preparatory work will begin before Christmas after Newcastle City Council appointed the firm to deliver the public space improvement programme.

New paving inspired by the street’s medieval history will be complemented by seating, trees, greenery and lighting in a project paid for by the city’s £20m Levelling Up Fund allocation.

Funds that had been destined for Blackett Street and Old Eldon Square have been reassigned to Northumberland Street after NCC deferred works in that area.

The council said that “not only will there be great shops, but also spaces for events, entertainment and for people just to spend time in a more welcoming place that can be enjoyed both day and night”.

Cllr Alex Hay, cabinet member for a thriving city at NCC, said: “Northumberland Street is at the city’s heart and plays a vital role in the lives of local people, so I am therefore delighted that we can now progress with our plans to transform it into somewhere they can be proud of.

“We remain committed to delivering our long-term ambition to ensure the city centre plays its part in delivering a cleaner, greener, more welcoming place that attracts visitors and investment and where our residents can feel a sense of belonging.

“Northumberland Street will be the flagship scheme, and this gives us the opportunity to align it with the other regeneration initiatives underway in the city to ensure we are all working together to maximise benefits for the people of Newcastle.”

Kieran McBride, store director for Fenwick in Newcastle, said: “At Fenwick, we are committed to the continued transformation of the city of Newcastle and are delighted by the planned regeneration of Northumberland Street, home to our Fenwick flagship store.

“This significant investment from the council will create a lively and prosperous cultural hub in the city centre for locals and tourists to enjoy, enabling businesses such as Fenwick to continue serving the region for many years to come.”

In addition to the significant investment in Northumberland Street, the funding will also allow for improvements to the area around the Grainger Market, to complement the plans already underway inside the market as part of the £7m received from the LUF.

It will also fund improved digital connectivity in the city centre, including the provision of free Wifi in the Grainger Market and across the city centre.

Following a competitive tendering exercise, Taylor Woodrow won the 18-month contract to carry out the Northumberland Street job, which is due to be completed by summer 2025.

Tom Gurney, operations manager for Taylor Woodrow said: “We are looking forward to getting started on what is set to be a key element in the transformation of the city centre.

“Our team, which includes local people, is committed to delivering high-quality improvements whilst simultaneously seeking out ways to support communities across the city.”

Included within the works is addressing the poor sub-base and quality of pavement that have meant an ongoing need for maintenance and resulting tarmac patches on the street over the years. As part of the improvement works the tarmac will be removed and the street fully repaved.

There has been ongoing consultation with businesses and other stakeholders on the street, and their feedback has helped to shape and inform the plans so far. They will continue to be updated and involved as the work progresses.

Other works going on across the city centre have included Ridley Place and Saville Row, while improvements to Grey Street continue on schedule, with completion due in summer 2024.

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