July 7, 2020 @ 9:51 by Richard Dawson
A new retail and leisure scheme at Blyth’s South Beach is set to begin construction later this year after being backed by Northumberland County Council.
Planning permission was secured by Blagdon Estate on Monday (July 6) for a two-storey development on Links Road, which is anticipated to create around 85 new jobs as well as construction work for local contractors.
Designed by Newcastle architects, IDPartnership, the scheme will transform derelict buildings at Links House Farm into a modern gateway to South Beach.
The 16,000 sq ft first phase will incorporate several ground floor retail units and a first floor space, which the developer says could accommodate a range of leisure businesses, such as a gym or a restaurant.
Blagdon Estate’s Stuart Hall said: “We are keen that there is a local emphasis on the development to complement the existing facilities already on offer at Blyth beachfront.
“Our aim is to draw additional business and visitors into the town as a day trip destination and having local traders and produce will be a key part of this.
“We also hope to encourage green travel to the site, which is well connected by public transport and in close proximity to the national cycle route network, as well as being accessible on foot to local residents and the town centre.”
The planning consent follows recent announcements that Northumberland County Council’s £40 million regeneration of Blyth town centre could start next year.
Regeneration works are planned for Blyth Marketplace and Bridge Street with new culture and leisure facilities.
Retail property consultancy, @retail, has been appointed by Blagdon Estate as letting agent for the Blyth Beach scheme.
Director, Ian Thurlbeck, said: “This development will undoubtedly enhance South Beach’s appeal and with a real focus on the local area, we are genuinely interested to hear from prospective occupiers to discuss their ideas.
“It would be great to see the space become home to a vibrant mix of uses and business concepts, to broaden the town’s overall offering and reduce the need for local residents to travel further afield for goods and services.”
Blagdon Estate owns an additional two acres at the southern part of the site which it intends to develop as a second phase. Marketing of phase one is due to commence this summer including the launch of a new website.
Preparatory site works for phase one are expected to start in November with completion expected in late 2021.