COLLEGE: An important institution

I was sad to read that Northumberland College in Ashington is on the verge of a merger with a college in Sunderland.

Sunday, 16th December 2018, 7:00 am

It is surprising in that the college is an important institution in Ashington. If it has been facing financial challenges I would have expected some debate on the issue.

Further education colleges continue to perform a valuable role in enhancing people’s skills.

Hopefully, firm statements will be issued from County Hall and the interested stakeholders to allay any concerns people have.

Given the successful redevelopment of John Smail’s shop into a restaurant, the footfall and smiles are tribute to the food and quality of service, it may have increased confidence in the planned development of the RAFA Club into a fine eating establishment.

Hopefully, there will be no spin-off downside for the plans for the former Appleby’s book shop, where the renovation of the building has led to a dramatic improvement, as I believe there was a proposal for a cafe there.

With talk of how shopping centres are running at a loss throughout the country, it is surely getting to the stage when local authorities have to look at a different vision for a shopping centre. There has been much talk of boosting retail in Ashington and Bedlington.

Hopefully, Arch’s replacement Advance has contacts with the owners of the shopping centres in Morpeth, Blyth and Cramlington to understand the retail picture and begin to think about how shopping areas in our towns should look.

Robert Pollard

Northbourne Avenue