A multi-million pound regeneration of Wallsend town centre has taken a major step forward.
Contracts have been signed signalling the start of work on the new Aldi supermarket and Burger King drive-through restaurant in High Street West.
The new Aldi store will be a major attraction and bring more customers to the Forum and to the High Street area in general, and the Burger King drive-through will also be a major boost.Mayor Norma Redfearn
Work is due to start on site in early December, with officials aiming to keep disruption to a minimum for businesses and shoppers in the run-up to Christmas.
The news has been welcomed by Mayor Norma Redfearn who said: “The council is working extremely hard with its partners to regenerate and transform the town for the people who live, work and shop there.
“The new Aldi store will be a major attraction and bring more customers to the Forum and to the High Street area in general, and the Burger King drive-through will also be a major boost.
“Sadly Wallsend town centre has been declining and crying out for investment for a number of years – this multi-million scheme being led by New River Retail will completely revitalise it.”
Developers are hoping the new Aldi store will be open from early Autumn 2016 with more than 100 jobs expected to be created across both sites.
Allan Lockhart, property director at NewRiver Retail, said: “Since we first became involved in Wallsend as a result of our acquisition of The Forum Shopping Centre in December 2010 we have forged a really positive partnership with North Tyneside Council.
“The progress that has been made in regenerating the town centre is a testament to the value of the public and private sectors working together to bring greater economic prosperity and to meet the needs of local people.
“We are delighted to be investing in Wallsend.”
This latest announcement is further good news for Wallsend and follows on from the new Customer First Centre and library in the Forum – also delivered in collaboration with NewRiver.
New affordable housing is being built, Wallsend parks have been restored to their former glory and progress is being made on the £100m investment scheme to bring jobs to the Swans site.
The Forum is also being completely refurbished by NewRiver who have invested more than £1m to enhance the shopping centre. Work includes internal decoration, new LED lighting throughout, new entrances, car park refurbishment, better public toilets, floor resurfacing and new seating.
In addition, the refurbishment of the Indoor Market at The Forum – formerly InShops – is progressing well and will be handed over to the operator in early January for a spring opening. So far 48 of the 52 units have been prelet.