DEVELOPMENT: New positive brand needed
Any first time visitor to the Newbiggin Museum will recognise the importance of the museum's cafÃ©, both in terms of generating revenue and creating a positive atmosphere.
Given the popularity of coffee drinking and the growth of café numbers in Morpeth.
Surely it can’t be long before the county council gives thought to adapting the Chantry to enable people to sit down and have a cup of coffee and a slice of cake there. The work would have to be sensitively done, given the listed status of that part of the building, but if done well it would draw more people in to appreciate the many positives of the building.
l It’s good that Ashington residents are taking an interest in the progress being made at the site of what was going to be the new County Hall.
The look of the bus station has evolved over recent times and I suspect that regular users on a rainy day would appreciate investment in bus shelters as much as paving.
The road, which goes through the site helps to create the shape and look of the whole area.
It will be interesting to see how any forthcoming planning proposal fit in with the existing look of the site, such as where would a potential new cinema fit in.
Past experience of dealing with developers will have shown county council officials how easy it is to say to them, ‘here is a space, be creative’ if you like.
Hopefully, a regeneration plan for Ashington will look beyond the one specific site and look at other sites before house builders take over.
Public discussion of what may or may not have happened when Arch was dealing with the regeneration matters for the county council sets challenges for the equivalent staff doing regeneration work in 2018.
They need to be promoting a new positive brand and coming forward with ideas to help the county meet the new opportunities that matters such as Brexit or cross border links with Scotland offer.
As in an ideal world the county’s economy should be growing in the next decade to match changes in the population and house building among the various reasons.