£50m Transformation Plans to “Re-energise” Newcastle City Centre.
A multi-million pound plan to revitalise Newcastle city centre has been unveiled yesterday. Newcastle City Council has announced the launch of its £50m City Centre Transformation Programme (CCTP) in a bid to support the recovery of the city centre following COVID-19.
Plans will see a range of streets in the city transformed into key destinations, including Grey Street as a hub for cultural events and performance, Ridley Place as a destination for local independent retailers, pop-up food businesses and markets, and Saville Row as an arts and design hotspot. The plans also outline the transformation of Old Eldon Square as well as a strategic review of Eldon Square shopping centre.
The council has already secured over £20m to begin transforming a number of city centre streets this summer, with the remaining £30m to be secured through a mix of grant funding and private investment with key partners.
The initial £10.5m secured from the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) – part of the government’s Getting Building Fund and Department for Transport’s Active Travel Fund – will kickstart the first phase of the programme.
Leader of Newcastle City Council, Cllr Nick Forbes, commented: “City centres are changing, and they must adapt to survive as now more people are shopping online and climate change has increased the urgency for cleaner, greener spaces. Today we are launching our plans to create a city centre that gives residents and visitors what they want – pleasant open spaces to meet and socialise; a more diverse range of shops; safer streets that are free of traffic where people can walk freely, and attractions that offer families lots of things to do that are fun and educational. Newcastle is a premier shopping destination with a bright future and we will work with retailers, the Grainger Market, hospitality and all businesses – in the immediate term to reopen safely in COVID secure, socially distanced way and on these plans which will set us on a new path to create a re-energised city centre.”
Pat Ritchie, chief executive of Newcastle City Council added: “Recent news about the closure of several major high street names illustrates all too clearly the challenges that our beloved city centre faces in the aftermath of Covid-19.
“Collectively we can see the planned changes as a threat or as a great opportunity to remodel our city for the future. The council needs to lead the city in partnership with our private sector partners as we have done before, to continue to evolve, adapt and make changes as we look towards a bright and exciting future.”