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Old March 19th, 2010, 05:35 PM   #1
Newcastle Historian
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Cramlington, Blyth, Bedlington Area - Developments

Electronics company Opsol UK's £350,000 expansion
Mar 19 2010 by Iain Laing, The Journal


AN electronics company is about to move to a larger headquarters in Cramlington, Northumberland, as part of a £350,000 expansion.

Opsol UK will also create 15 jobs when it moves to the new 14,000sq ft plant in Admiral Business Park in Cramlington as it wins more contracts with blue chip companies.

The company makes bespoke circuit boards for products including pallets which keep the food they contain fresh and black boxes for cars to record information if they are involved in a crash.

The company, which was shortlisted for the Manufacturing Award at the nebusiness awards last night was helped to make the move with a £75,000 Grant for Business Investment (GBI) from One North East.

Owner Malcolm Humble said: “This increase in both manufacturing capacity and floor space will allow us to develop our business processes inline with the customers needs. There are exciting times ahead.”

This funding from One North East complements an initial grant of £40,000 awarded by the agency in 2007 which assisted in the firm’s relocation to Admiral Business Park.

Lisa Harwood, business finance specialist advisor at One North East, said:

“By moving to new premises OPSOL is better placing itself to secure lucrative new contract opportunities which will support new jobs and investment in Northumberland.”
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Old March 19th, 2010, 08:04 PM   #2
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This project was not covered on this forum at the time (we did not become a forum until October 2009) but could lead to a major construction at the South end of Cramlington. This is still a "live" proposal (as at March 2010) . . .

Traffic blunder hits Cramlington hospital plan
Posted by The Journal on Aug 25, 2009



Patients needing emergency care could be put at risk after it emerged key decision-makers on transport improvements weren't told a new hospital was planned.

A team putting together a wishlist of North East road and rail improvements were not told of plans for a new hospital near Moor Farm roundabout, near Cramlington.

Vital improvements needed to prepare the Northumberland roundabout for a predicted increase in traffic have since been suspended and no work will start on the junction before 2018.

But plans for the new accident and emergency centre aim for it to be up and running by 2012, by which point the nearby A19 will have to cope with extra traffic generated by the opening of the second Tyne Tunnel.

It raises the prospect of ambulances being held up in queues at the roundabout, where the A19 meets the A189 spine road.

Members of the region's interim transport board, which sets the list of road improvements for the next decade, say they were not told about the hospital when they agreed a timetable for spending £540m.

Northumberland Council deputy leader Roger Styring, who sits on the transport board, confirmed it was not brought before them during final negotiations on where to spend the cash.

He said: "I don't think at present there is a major problem on the Moor Farm roundabout, the traffic lights are doing a good job there and we expect the A&E to generate less traffic then perhaps a hospital would.

"But the problem will come when we have the new Tyne Tunnel and then you can see a situation where ambulances will have to find an alternative routes and avoid rush hour traffic."

Government transport officers based in the region said the issue of a new hospital near the roundabout "certainly was not discussed" at the meeting, although they added that this could mean the Highways Agency has no objections.

Board members say it is impossible to judge what changes would have been made to the region's wishlist if they had being informed about the hospital.

When the Department for Transport signed off the list it said work developing the case for the Moor Farm roundabout would be suspended, a situation transport bosses are hoping to challenge.

Regional minister Nick Brown has already started putting pressure on DfT officers in a bid to ensure A19 upgrades are not delayed. He has said in his view there is no suspension, but development work may not be happening as fast as needed.

Mr Brown chaired the final meeting of the board and said at no point did anyone in the NHS raise the potential traffic problems linked to the new hospital.

No planning application has being submitted, and the likely location for the hospital has yet to be agreed.

A spokeswoman for Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust insisted they had not missed their chance to secure road improvements. She said: "Throughout this process we have liaised closely with the appropriate highway and public transport authorities and will continue to do so as our plans develop."

The Highways Agency said they are in "early stages of pre-application discussions" with hospital staff and would work through the issues before an application is submitted.

THE PLANS

Plans to build the emergency care hospital have been backed by health bosses - but cannot be given the green light until important issues are resolved.

The NHS North of Tyne commissioning board met last week to discuss a three-month consultation on plans for hospital services in the region.

Commissioners supported the proposals but said further discussion was needed regarding provision of maternity care and the siting of the hospital.

In the £200m project, health chiefs want to transfer all serious emergency care cases from North Tyneside and Wansbeck general hospitals to the new centre near Moor Farm roundabout.

Serious emergency care, consultant-led maternity services and special care baby units would be moved from the two hospitals to the acute care site.

A further £125m would be spent upgrading North Tyneside and Wansbeck general hospitals in the 10-year plan, while community hospitals in Berwick and Haltwhistle would be rebuilt, alongside work already under way on improving other community facilities.

The commissioning board has not set a deadline for the issues to be resolved.


Then . . .


Green light to £200m Cramlington health plan
Oct 24 2009 by Robert Weatherall, Evening Chronicle


HEALTH bosses have given the green light to a scheme which will revolutionise care.

Bosses at the NHS North of Tyne Trust have decided to go ahead with a £200m investment plan which will drastically shake up the way some services are provided in Tyneside and Northumberland.

Among the schemes which will now go ahead is a new hospital to be built on the outskirts of Cramlington which will act as an emergency care centre.

North Tyneside General as well as Wansbeck General will also see significant investment.

The investment package was approved yesterday by Trust board members.

The go-ahead had been widely anticipated following a meeting in August where it had been indicated approval would be given – as long as a number of concerns were addressed. Among those concerns was the provision of services for children with the possibility of conflict arising with the new Great North Children’s Hospital in Newcastle.

Members were also concerned whether the proposed location was the most suitable, the availability of maternity care and how easily the hospital could be accessed by public transport.

The new emergency care centre will be built on land just off the A19 near to the Moor Farm roundabout.

It was felt this location offered the best access for people living in North Tyneside and more rural areas of Northumberland.

Chris Reed, chief executive of NHS North of Tyne, said: “Throughout the consultation the location of the new hospital was controversial and it was clear that no one site would suit everyone. Since our board meeting in August we have examined all of the information that was available to Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust when they proposed this location.

“During the consultation there were strong messages about access to the new hospital and about the need to improve public transport arrangements.

“Work undertaken by Northumbria Healthcare has included seconding a member of staff from Nexus to the Trust to offer expert advice.

“The Trust is also committed to providing a shuttle service to link into existing public transport services.”

Youngsters being treated at the pediatrics unit will only stay for short-term care with those requiring more intensive treatment being transferred to the Great North Children’s Hospital.

Mr Reed added: “The new emergency care hospital and other proposals will result in benefits for patients living across Northumberland and North Tyneside.”

However Councillor Liz Langfield, member for adult care and health on Newcastle City Council said more information would be needed on where people living on the Newcastle/North Tyneside border would be treated.

She also expressed concern over public transport to the new emergency centre.

She said: “Newcastle, North Tyneside and South East Northumberland have amongst the lowest levels of car ownership in the country and many families will be reliant on public transport.The proposed site is not close to railway or bus interchange and the existing bus networks are under developed.”
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Old March 19th, 2010, 08:26 PM   #3
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NaREC turbine training tower puts Blyth at the cutting edge
The Journal, Mar 19 2010



A pioneering facility was launched yesterday to further cement the region's growing reputation as a world leader in the green energy industry.

The UK's first wind turbine training tower has been built at the New and Renewable Energy Centre (NaREC) in Blyth - which is already a major centre of excellence for wind energy research and development.

The 27 metre tall tower will be used to train up to 500 wind industry students, apprentices and employees each year in how to install, operate and maintain massive offshore turbines up to 125 metres high.
It will allow budding technicians, engineers and maintenance workers to find out if they suffer from vertigo or have a problem with working at height as they embark on their potential careers in the £100bn sector.

Training will be provided on how to get up and down turbine towers safely, how to carry out rescues and the use of tools and equipment.

The 54-tonne structure puts Blyth at the cutting edge of the drive to train and upskill the turbine technicians of the future, and further strengthens the region's role as a standard bearer for the low carbon economy. The UK is likely to have between 5,000 and 7,000 offshore wind turbines installed by 2020, and it is estimated that will require a skilled workforce of about 70,000 in research, development, engineering and maintenance.

Yesterday the Blyth tower was officially opened by energy and climate change minister David Kidney (pictured). He said: "I'm really impressed with this brilliant new training facility. It will help people from the North East and across the UK to get the skills they need to help us generate more clean, green and secure wind energy.

"Fighting climate change and ensuring our energy security is a challenge, but it's also a massive opportunity for skills, jobs and investment.

"Research and development, and giving people the skills to build offshore wind farms will be vital to keeping the UK ahead of the world."

The tower has been developed and built by a partnership comprising NaREC, the Northumberland College and Mainstream Renewable Power.

It will provide training for between 70 and 100 students each year who are on wind technician courses at the college's Kirkley Hall campus, as well as between 300 and 400 employees from companies in the wind energy field.

Plans to develop a multi-million pound, 20-turbine demonstration site off Blyth in 2012 will allow the training to be done out at sea in a genuine offshore setting.

Yesterday Andy Williamson, NaREC's director of business development, said the tower was the latest addition to the centre's growing reputation as a global hub for offshore technology development.

"This is the UK's first specialist wind technician training tower, and the first open access facility. It is only natural to extend our offering into skills development, where there is currently a huge gap."

Director of wind and marine, Stephen Wilson, said: "The UK has just become the world leader in offshore wind, with the largest capacity installed. 'The training tower is all about giving wind turbine engineers the basic level of skills they need to help them go on and become specialists. The idea is that this is the start of developing a training centre of excellence here at NaREC."
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Old March 19th, 2010, 08:40 PM   #4
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^that'll be a bit asset for the area. with mitsubushi and clipper opening factories here, and the test/training facility, it gives a good base to expand and build the industry up.
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Old March 19th, 2010, 10:30 PM   #5
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Yup - if we have the infrastructure already in place, it's a no-brainer for new production facilities to be located here instead of elsewhere. This is one area that I think Tyneside and the NE in general has some real potential for something exciting.
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Old April 22nd, 2010, 12:26 PM   #6
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Former Blyth councillor brands
town centre revamp, a “disaster”

Apr 22 2010 by David Black, The Journal




A TROUBLE-plagued £3m town centre revamp has hit a further embarrassing setback – after expensive new road surfacing was removed because it is a potential danger to pedestrians.

Yesterday the major facelift for Blyth market place, and the road which runs alongside it, was branded a “disaster” for the town by a former local councillor.

The market square closed for 10 months for work to be carried out, but has been beset by problems since re-opening in November 2008.

New market stalls bought for £47,500 were mothballed during the winter because their flimsy design means they can’t be used when the weather is too windy or cold.

SEE REST OF ARTICLE HERE - http://www.journallive.co.uk/north-e...1634-26292577/
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Old April 22nd, 2010, 01:22 PM   #7
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Are those the water-features? They look like something out of Tellytubbies.
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Old April 27th, 2010, 08:57 AM   #8
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Complete waste of time and money.

The road surface was cutting up after just a few months. Seems it wasn't designed to cope with heavy traffic which is strange seeing as it's Blyth's busiest road!

And whilst the Market square had been spruced up shops around it have been closing down. There was never actually anything fundamentally wrong with the Market square in the first place. It's other parts of the town centre which need revitalising. Such as the terrible bus station, the now rotting wallaw and that wonderful post office building.
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Old April 27th, 2010, 01:55 PM   #9
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They seemed to have spent so much money on not very much.
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Old April 28th, 2010, 11:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Salif View Post
Complete waste of time and money.

The road surface was cutting up after just a few months. Seems it wasn't designed to cope with heavy traffic which is strange seeing as it's Blyth's busiest road!

And whilst the Market square had been spruced up shops around it have been closing down. There was never actually anything fundamentally wrong with the Market square in the first place. It's other parts of the town centre which need revitalising. Such as the terrible bus station, the now rotting wallaw and that wonderful post office building.
Cowpen Road is Blyth's busiest road (it's Northumberland's busiest urban road). But the rest of what you say is spot on. The Market Square wasn't broke, so why did they try to fix it?

The area around the old post office, bus station, library and bank buildings is failing though - but having said that I'm not sure what investment would be able to rescue that area. It's a shame as there are some great buildings in Blyth.
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Old June 14th, 2010, 10:49 AM   #11
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Council set to drive through Blyth store scheme
Jun 14 2010 by David Black, The Journal


COMPULSORY purchase powers are set to be used to ensure that a vital regeneration scheme goes ahead in the centre of Northumberland’s biggest town.

Months of negotiations have failed to result in agreements with a number of owners whose businesses, land and premises are required to allow a new Morrisons superstore to be built in Blyth.

Council bosses say the project – which involves the demolition of the existing Morrisons supermarket – is important as it will create up to 140 new jobs, regenerate the town centre and help attract further investment into the area.

A total of 32 properties in and around the site are required to allow it to go ahead, but so far the county council has only been able to secure 10 of them by agreement.

Today, the executive will be recommended to proceed with a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) to ensure that the required land is assembled.

The move comes amid claims that some property owners are refusing to enter negotiations with the council, making unrealistic financial demands or not taking the situation seriously enough.

The project – for which One North East and Morrisons have provided up to £3.8m for land assembly costs – will safeguard 160 jobs and create between 90 and 140 new ones. It will also result in a more modern and attractive store with an extra 800sq metres of floorspace, and help boost the town centre economy.


FULL ARTICLE HERE - http://www.journallive.co.uk/north-e...1634-26645227/


.

Last edited by Newcastle Historian; June 14th, 2010 at 11:35 AM.
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Old June 26th, 2010, 11:59 AM   #12
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Plans for Tyneside hospital on track
Jun 25 2010 by Helen Rae, The Journal


Health chiefs last night confirmed that plans for a new North East emergency care hospital at Cramlington have NOT been hit by public spending cuts.

Managers at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust said proposals to build the multi-million pound specialist emergency care hospital near Cramlington were “on track and progressing well”.

Last week, it was reported a £464m project to build a new hospital on Teesside were thrown into doubt when the Government decided not to contribute public funds to the project.

The Wynyard Park project – to replace outdated general hospitals in Hartlepool and Stockton – was among 12 schemes that had their funding withdrawn, saving £2bn. However, executives at the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust are said to believe they can put together a private funding deal that will let the project to go ahead.

But whatever happens at Wynyard, however, the Northumbria trust says its £200m investment programme will not be affected by it.

A trust spokesperson said: “Proposals to build the new specialist emergency care hospital near Cramlington are on track and progressing well.

“Site tests have been taking place on the proposed site for some time and work with the architect to design the hospital continues.

“This total investment programme includes improving Wansbeck and North Tyneside general hospitals, and rebuilding Berwick and Haltwhistle community hospitals, all of which are on course.”

The plans envisage all emergency cases being treated at the specialist centre near Cramlington, instead of nearby general hospitals.


FULL ARTICLE HERE - http://www.journallive.co.uk/north-e...1634-26722056/
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Old July 9th, 2010, 11:00 AM   #13
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Narec getting a head start on next revolution
July 9th 2010, by Adrian Pearson, The Journal



THE next step in the region’s efforts to create a renewable energy industry will begin with a £15m marine testing facility in Blyth.

Experts at the National Renewable Energy Centre (Narec) have unveiled plans for a marine energy testing facility to be built in Blyth.

The testing centre, to be built at the existing dry dock, will when completed be the world’s leading test facility for wave and tidal energy.

Known as Project Nautilus, it is hoped the facilities will see manufacturers flock to the region to design and test their technology.

Andrew Williamson, business development director at Narec, said that nothing at the moment existed to match the planned testing centre.

He said: “It is quite unique really, the marine industry doesn’t really have these test prototype facilities anywhere.

“I think it’s a significant step because there has yet to be a commercial scale wave industry to match that of wind and this is a big step towards that. Marine renewable is nowhere near offshore wind, it is 15 years behind and yes wave and tidal is still finding its way. This makes those opportunities a lot easier to grasp.”


FULL ARTICLE HERE - http://www.journallive.co.uk/north-e...1634-26815374/


(NB - Copy of above article also included on the Newcastle - Green Issues & Business thread)
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Old July 20th, 2010, 11:23 AM   #14
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Public get say on River Blyth biomass project
July 20th 2010 by David Black, The Journal


FAMILIES living near the proposed site of an eco-friendly power station on the Northumberland coastline are to be asked for their views on the project.

The 100-megawatt biomass generating plant–- planned for Battleship Wharf next to the River Blyth by Renewable Energy Systems (RES) – is predicted to bring up to 300 jobs to the area.

The wood-burning facility was originally proposed on Blyth’s former Bates Colliery site, but RES revealed the new location, at North Blyth, seven months ago.

Now the company has submitted an environmental scoping report on the project to the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC), the national agency which deals with major developments across the UK.

In addition, it plans to hold public exhibitions and consultations in September so that local residents and organisations can view the proposals and comment on them.

RES wants to build the plant at the Port of Blyth’s bulk materials handling complex on the north side of the river, where it will benefit from rail access and avoid causing traffic congestion on Blyth’s Cowpen Road.

The IPC is due to be abolished under the coalition Government’s cost-cutting measures but is still currently responsible for handling major schemes such as the one proposed by RES.

RES says the power plant could be up and running by 2015 if permission is granted. It would generate enough electricity to power 150,000 homes a year, and cut CO² emissions by more than 300,000 tonnes annually.


FULL ARTICLE HERE - http://www.journallive.co.uk/north-e...1634-26886911/
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Old July 29th, 2010, 11:08 AM   #15
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New hospital will be built
July 29th 2010, by Helen Rae, The Journal


A Health Minister has moved to calm fears that spending cuts will affect plans for a new £75m hospital in the North East.

Simon Burns said planning permission was being sought for the site and further development work was under way after Hexham MP Guy Opperman raised the future of the emergency hospital in Cramlington, Northumberland, during a Parliamentary debate.

The developments come after The Journal last year revealed the new specialist emergency care hospital, near the junction of the A19 and A189 near Cramlington, was part of a £200m revamp of health care in the region.

Under the 10-year plan, a further £125m will go on upgrading North Tyneside and Wansbeck general hospitals – although they would no longer have emergency departments.

Community hospitals in Berwick, Haltwhistle and Morpeth will also be upgraded under the proposals set out by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

Speaking in Parliament, Hexham MP Guy Opperman raised the issue of the proposed Cramlington hospital.

He said: “I have been told by health officials in the local primary care trust and the strategic health authority that there is no difficulty with the hospital going ahead because the funding is assured.

“Although health has not been as affected as other areas, will the minister nonetheless reassure me that the hospital has survived the funding reviews?”

Mr Opperman also called for rural areas to be treated and reviewed in a slightly different way to other parts of the country.

He said: “In dealing with rural services, let me turn to the issue of the rebuilding of Haltwhistle Hospital.

“Again, it takes the best part of an hour and a half to get there from Newcastle and the various hospitals there.


FULL ARTICLE HERE - http://www.journallive.co.uk/north-e...1634-26952922/
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Old July 29th, 2010, 03:26 PM   #16
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I'm not too sure if that hospital is a good thing or bad thing, but I'll take it. Since all funding is going to be hard to come by in the coming years we might aswell get what we can. I just hope the roundabout is sorted out as part of the project.
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Old July 29th, 2010, 08:11 PM   #17
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.

Last edited by Newcastle Historian; August 5th, 2010 at 01:48 PM.
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Old August 24th, 2010, 10:57 AM   #18
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Millionaires back North East Energy Centre (NAREC) based in Blyth
August 24th 2010, by Iain Laing, The Journal


THE growth of green industries in the North East is set to be fuelled by up to £200m of investment from some of Britain's wealthiest families.

The National Renewable Energy Centre (Narec), in Blyth, Northumberland, has struck an exclusive deal with a group of investors interested in ploughing money into the sector.

The agreement, with London-based Ashberg, is aimed at providing the finance to help renewable energy projects get off the ground quicker than is currently possible.

That is part of a wider strategy to turn the North East into a world-leading hub for green industries, which Narec is already at the heart of.

Ashberg represents individuals and families who have amassed at least £50m in wealth and are seeking business opportunities. The deal with Narec is aimed at finding investment opportunities in the green energy sector to help commercialise research and development projects.

It is also hoped the finance will be able to plug funding gaps that could prevent such schemes becoming a reality.

Dr Alan Lowdon, Narec director of technology and innovation, told The Journal the deal with Ashberg would further enhance both the company and the region’s position as a world leader in renewable energy.

He said: “We see this as a fantastic opportunity to develop technology. We have here a dedicated fund which, subject to meeting certain criteria, will allow us to get projects into the funding market much more quickly.”


FULL ARTICLE HERE - http://www.nebusiness.co.uk/business...1140-27122884/
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Old August 24th, 2010, 08:55 PM   #19
leauk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Newcastle Historian View Post
Former Blyth councillor brands
town centre revamp, a “disaster”

Apr 22 2010 by David Black, The Journal




A TROUBLE-plagued £3m town centre revamp has hit a further embarrassing setback – after expensive new road surfacing was removed because it is a potential danger to pedestrians.

Yesterday the major facelift for Blyth market place, and the road which runs alongside it, was branded a “disaster” for the town by a former local councillor.

The market square closed for 10 months for work to be carried out, but has been beset by problems since re-opening in November 2008.

New market stalls bought for £47,500 were mothballed during the winter because their flimsy design means they can’t be used when the weather is too windy or cold.

SEE REST OF ARTICLE HERE - http://www.journallive.co.uk/north-e...1634-26292577/
I agree with him.
They seemed to have spent a lot of money on what seems not much.
Does anyone know what the tower is at the Keel Row side? it looks like it has a satellite dish in it.

Last edited by leauk; August 24th, 2010 at 09:04 PM.
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Old August 24th, 2010, 09:16 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Newcastle Historian View Post
Millionaires back North East Energy Centre (NAREC) based in Blyth
August 24th 2010, by Iain Laing, The Journal


THE growth of green industries in the North East is set to be fuelled by up to £200m of investment from some of Britain's wealthiest families.

The National Renewable Energy Centre (Narec), in Blyth, Northumberland, has struck an exclusive deal with a group of investors interested in ploughing money into the sector.

The agreement, with London-based Ashberg, is aimed at providing the finance to help renewable energy projects get off the ground quicker than is currently possible.

That is part of a wider strategy to turn the North East into a world-leading hub for green industries, which Narec is already at the heart of.

Ashberg represents individuals and families who have amassed at least £50m in wealth and are seeking business opportunities. The deal with Narec is aimed at finding investment opportunities in the green energy sector to help commercialise research and development projects.

It is also hoped the finance will be able to plug funding gaps that could prevent such schemes becoming a reality.

Dr Alan Lowdon, Narec director of technology and innovation, told The Journal the deal with Ashberg would further enhance both the company and the region’s position as a world leader in renewable energy.

He said: “We see this as a fantastic opportunity to develop technology. We have here a dedicated fund which, subject to meeting certain criteria, will allow us to get projects into the funding market much more quickly.”


FULL ARTICLE HERE - http://www.nebusiness.co.uk/business...1140-27122884/
Interesting, hopefully this will link in to developments already ongoing on the Tyne - and elsewhere in the region - with regards to renewable energy as well as plans for the future.
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