Meeting to help decide how £1m is spent

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Have your say

RESIDENTS are being invited to have their say on how £1m is spent in Whitley Bay over the next ten years.

The town is one of 50 areas nationwide set to benefit from the Big Lottery Fund’s Big Local initiative.

A meeting is being held to encourage residents to work alongside organisations and community groups to come up with ideas for how the cash could be spent on improving the town.

It will take place on Tuesday, May 15, from 6pm to 8pm at the Age UK centre in Park Road, Whitley Bay.

Whitley Bay Big Local representative Linda Clark has already held initial discussions with North Tyneside Council, North Tyneside Voluntary Organisations Development Agency and other groups, and she is delighted at the response to the scheme so far.

She said: “From this meeting, what we hope to do is get an agreement that we go with a local trust to then apply for the first £20,000.

“Once we get that in, we’ll do some really intensive community work to get local residents involved in this.

“It is up to the community how they want to spend the £1m.”

The Big Local partnership would be made up of a minimum of 51 per cent residents to give them the lion’s share of the say on how the ten-year plan unfolds.

Social enterprise loans and grants may also be given out, paving the way for the legacy of the programme to extend beyond its anticipated decade-long lifespan.

The boundaries of the area in line for improvement as part of the Whitley Bay Big Local initiative are the seafront to the east, the Metro line to the west, Marine Park First School to the north and Egremont Place to the south.

North Tyneside mayor Linda Arkley, pictured, said: “This is a really exciting initiative that provides a great opportunity to improve Whitley Bay.

“However, the key to its success will be the local community taking ownership of the project and driving it forward.

“That’s why I would encourage people to attend next month’s meeting and find out how they can get involved.”

For more information about the initiative, call Linda Clark on 07908 332842 or visit www.localtrust.org.uk and go to the Whitley Bay page.