Monday, 16 September 2013

Dave Ledger, Arch Group Chair & Deputy Leader of Northumberland County Council said:

16th September 2013
Planning Permission approved for Commissioners Quay Development
Plans for the first phase development of the Commissioners Quay site on Blyth Quayside were approved last month by Northumberland County Council’s South East Area Planning Committee.
The landmark new development, referred to as Blyth Workspace, will help to regenerate the long term vacant site and help to enhance Blyth Estuary’s reputation as a centre of excellence in renewable energy and research. Over the next three years Arch, The Northumberland Development Company is leading the delivery of a mixed use development of the wider Commissioners Quay site as part of the broader regeneration of Blyth Estuary and town centre.
Arch’s vision is to create a high quality mixed use scheme, which could include commercial, residential and retail/leisure uses. To realise this vision, Arch has appointed a specialist team led by award winning Xsite Architecture to produce a new masterplan for the site, of which Blyth Workspace will be a centrepiece and first phase of the development.

Blyth Workspace will be a high quality, well designed, sustainable and contemporary workspace, targeted to attract organisations within the energy sector. The superb new serviced office accommodation will consist of 1,950 sq. m (21,000 sq. ft.) of high quality new office space to let with a range of office sizes; informal meeting and social areas; conference room facilities; high quality landscaping and access.

Arch is currently in the process of procuring the main contractor to build the Workspace with a target start onsite this winter and completion the beginning of 2015.

The development has received £2.977m investment from the North East European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Competitiveness Programme 2007 – 2013 and £2.5m from the Homes and Communities Agency. Funding of £2.6m is currently being considered from the NELEP North East Investment Fund.

Peter McIntyre, Arch Group Managing Director said: “This is a flagship project for Arch, our partners and Blyth, designed to build on key business strengths of the sub-region and to establish facilities which will attract and grow new jobs and high growth enterprises. Our aim is to offer high-quality serviced office accommodation aimed to attract businesses in the energy sector which will add an exciting new dimension to the site and wider development and regeneration of the Blyth Estuary”.

Dave Ledger, Arch Group Chair & Deputy Leader of Northumberland County Council said:
“The approval of the planning application is a major step forward for the project and we are excited about turning the plans into reality. There is currently no workspace of this type on offer in Northumberland and it will be central to the wider regeneration of the Quay.”
Richard Wildsmith, Project Advisor at the Homes and Communities Agency said:
“This planning approval is great news since it will help create and protect jobs as the local economy starts to recover. The HCA’s investment of £2.75m will support the Enterprise Zone and help ensure that the scheme is delivered as quickly as possible”.
Cllr Neil Foster, Deputy Chair of the North East ERDF Local Management Committee, which engages key partners in the overseeing of the strategic delivery of the Programme in the North East said:
"ERDF investment in Blyth Workspace will bring benefits to the community and businesses working in renewable energy sectors by creating high quality office space aimed at enhancing the competitiveness and growth of small and medium businesses, generating high quality jobs. The project will have a positive physical impact through new quality premises located close to the National Renewable Energy Centre (Narec) and this coupled with the benefits of being located on an Enterprise Zone will work to attract businesses to Blyth creating further jobs and allow existing businesses to expand and thrive."

Notes to Editors:

The project is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007 to 2013. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund Programme, which is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs

About Arch
Arch, The Northumberland Development Company has been established by Northumberland County Council as an arms-length development company to drive capital economic development, physical regeneration projects and business growth in Northumberland.
Arch brings together five subsidiary companies delivering services in housing, commercial enterprise facilities, digital change and physical regeneration. The company has a clear economic focus and will help Northumberland develop credible sites and propositions to win new jobs and businesses for the area.

Contact for further information
Alexandra Wiley, Arch Marketing and Communications Manager:
Tel: 01670 528495

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