Politicians find out more about key bypass scheme

From left, Scott Beattie (Carillion project manager), Dave Bennett (Carillion project director), Julie Elliott MP, Gary Mills (Northumberland County Council project director), Coun Grant Davey (leader of the county council), Coun Dave Ledger (deputy leader of the county council) and Coun Ian Swithenbank (portfolio holder for streetcare and environment at the county council.
From left, Scott Beattie (Carillion project manager), Dave Bennett (Carillion project director), Julie Elliott MP, Gary Mills (Northumberland County Council project director), Coun Grant Davey (leader of the county council), Coun Dave Ledger (deputy leader of the county council) and Coun Ian Swithenbank (portfolio holder for streetcare and environment at the county council.

A major infrastructure project that will benefit a county town has been praised for its role in getting more young people into work.

The Morpeth Northern Bypass, which is being constructed by Carillion in partnership with Northumberland County Council, received the backing of Julie Elliott MP during a recent visit to the works site.

She was attending as part of her placement with Industry and Parliament Trust and was provided with an overview of the scheme that will reduce travel times between the A1 and south east Northumberland and costs for a number of businesses in the county.

Ms Elliott spoke with the project’s five technical apprentices about their experiences so far and their ambitions for the future once they complete their 30-month Level 3 BTEC in civil engineering qualification.

The MP for Sunderland Central was joined by county council cabinet members Grant Davey, Dave Ledger and Ian Swithenbank and they received an insight into the project’s development – from desktop to diggers.

She said: “It was really fascinating to see what goes on around site and, perhaps more so, what goes on behind the scenes.

“I’m particularly impressed with the apprenticeship scheme in place here. I had the chance to meet and speak with five very talented young apprentices, who I know will have very strong careers ahead of them in the industry and who are clearly enjoying the chance to be able to learn in a hands-on way as well as in the classroom.

“They’re a great example of the value of apprenticeships.”

The Morpeth Northern Bypass, a 3.8km-long road, is set to be completed in spring 2017 and it will also reduce congestion in Morpeth town centre.

More information about the project can be found online at www.morpethnorthernbypass.org and you can also get regular updates by following the scheme on Twitter – @MorpethBypass.