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Business & Economy

Banks Property and Harworth Group complete Bates Colliery regeneration project

Bosses behind decade-long work to rejuvenate a former colliery site say the project is now complete.

Banks Property and Harworth Group have finished a joint venture to transform the ex-Bates Colliery, in Blyth, Northumberland.

Banks Property began work on the remediation of 30 acres of land in 2009, in preparation for a range of new additions to the site.

They include the new Morpeth Road Primary Academy School and the development of specialist accommodation for people with learning disabilities, which is operated by Lifeways.

A new residential development, comprising 142 properties, has also been created by Gleeson Homes.

Furthermore, the work has supported an extension to the Port of Blyth, allowing the site to expand its renewable energy operations, while a new Lidl supermarket has also opened on adjacent land.

Banks Property and land and property regeneration company Harworth Group have now passed part of the public highway and a footpath leading to the Morpeth Road school onto Northumberland County Council, bringing their involvement with the site to a conclusion.

Michael Shuttleworth, managing director at Banks Property, which is part of the family-owned Banks Group, based in Meadowfield, County Durham, said he was delighted to see the project reach a successful end.

He said: “We’ve maintained an excellent working relationship with the Harworth team right through this landmark project and it’s great to see how the Bates Colliery site has been transformed over the last eleven years from derelict, undesirable brownfield land into a thriving part of Blyth.

“The regenerated site makes a positive contribution to the local community in a wide range of different ways and is an excellent example of how taking a long-term view of this sort of development can lead to substantial benefits arising.”

Owen Michaelson, chief executive at Harworth Group, added: “I’m delighted by what’s been achieved in Blyth, which is testament to the hard work of Michael Shuttleworth and the team at Banks Property, our former North East director Eddie Peat and Northumberland County Council.

“It also proves that long-term regeneration programmes are most successful when backed by a strong public-private partnership and we hope that what’s been developed can be used and enjoyed by local people for decades to come.”