Plans aim to put heart back into town centre

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Ambitious plans to breathe new life into Wallsend have gone on display.

North Tyneside Council and its partners, including NewRiver Retail, are showcasing a number of significant schemes which aim to put the heart back into Wallsend and transform the town centre.

A GCI image of the planned Aldi supermarket, Burger King and car park.

A GCI image of the planned Aldi supermarket, Burger King and car park.

The council say the proposals – on display at Wallsend’s Customer First Centre until February 20 – set out a vision to make it an enhanced and more vibrant town centre and for a new industry hub on the north bank of the Tyne.

Visitors will also be able to find out more about the local authoritys £100m plan for the Swan Hunter site, turning the former shipyard into a brand new hub for industry.

Funding from various sources will be used to create the new site, with the aim of bringing up to 1,000 new jobs and a host of high calibre businesses.

Mayor Norma Redfearn said: “We want Wallsend to thrive, prosper and be a place to be proud of, and this event will showcase how we plan to work with residents, businesses and other partners to secure a bright future for generations to come.”

NewRiver Retail, the owners of the Forum shopping centre, are behind the plans for the town centre, including the new Aldi, Burger King and car park.

Emma Mackenzie, asset manager, said: “Respectively we are progressing our phase two development and look forward to enhancing the retail mix even further with the creation of a new food store, additional retail and a drive through.”

“All of these exciting developments are helping regenerate Wallsend for the benefit of our local shoppers.”

Mrs Redfearn added: “Wallsend town centre is being transformed into a modern and vibrant place to shop and relax, and we have some fantastic new facilities in the pipeline, including plans to bring a major supermarket and drive-through Burger King to Wallsend, in partnership with NewRiver Retail.

“More than £100m is being invested to develop the Swans site into a brand new hub for industry, and this will play a major part in Wallsend’s bright economic future, bringing major employers and up to 1,000 local jobs.

“These are really exciting times for Wallsend and this event will allow residents and visitors to see the ambitious plans we have in place for the town.”

NewRiver recently secured planning permission for the supermarket development and single-story restaurant on a site at Hedley Place. It will link with proposals to convert the former Ritz Cinema into a new J D Wetherspoon public house.

The event will also outline a number of other schemes, including housing developments planned or underway for Wallsend, plus showcase some of the work North Tyneside Council has already completed as part of its regeneration strategy for the town – including Wallsend Parks, Hadrian Leisure Centre and the town’s new Customer First Centre.

Nexus, which owns and manages the Tyne and Wear Metro, will also be at the event, displaying information about its refurbishment of Wallsend Metro station as part of the £389m Metro: all change modernisation programme.