Insight into centre plan

TRADERS and residents in Wallsend are to be given an insight into the plans the new owners have for the town’s shopping centre.

North Tyneside Council and NewRiver, the new owners of The Forum, will hold a special meeting next month to give people the chance to find out more about the firm’s initial ideas for the redevelopment of the centre, along with planned refurbishment works.

The meeting comes as protesters said they intend to continue monthly demonstrations to voice concerns about the state of the town.

A special meeting of the Wallsend Area Forum has been organised for Tuesday, March 22, in The Forum at 6.30pm, where NewRiver will make a presentation.

Mayor Linda Arkley said: “The area forum is an opportunity for local people and businesses to hear about the emerging proposals and to start the necessary process of feedback from the local community.”

The council and NewRiver this week signed a Memorandum of Understanding to work together on the regeneration of Wallsend town centre.

This creates a framework for co-operation to advance new proposals for the redevelopment of the shopping centre as part of the council’s wider ambitions for the revitalisation of Wallsend.

Alan Lockhart, executive property director at NewRiver, said: “We are pleased that we have quickly established a co-ordinated approach with the council.

“The memorandum means that we can work jointly on a programme to make the regeneration of Wallsend a reality.

“There is a desire between public and private sectors to drive forward the delivery of a better town centre.”

Mrs Arkley added: “The memorandum sets out a positive basis for progress and we are committed to the implementation of improvements to the town centre.

“There is a lot of work to be done, but our joint working aims to drive forward the regeneration that everybody wants.”