Cllr Richard Wearmouth: Our investment is about creating the conditions for economic growth in Northumberland

A key priority of this council is to build a development company that works with communities, not against them and for all of the people in Northumberland. A number of developments in recent weeks demonstrate how we are ensuring that this council is making investments to improve our towns and setting the right conditions for businesses in the county to flourish.

In Amble we have secured significant investment by the supermarket Morrison’s and other major retailers on the former Northumberland Foods site which will transform a site that has set derelict for decades. The development will deliver a supermarket for the rapidly growing town whilst we are also in the final stages of building a hotel to boost the local economy. Amble will also benefit from this council's ambition to improve town centre parking in all major towns, which recognises the importance of town centres as the heart of the community.

In Bedlington we have worked tirelessly to make sure the town centre receives the investment that residents have been seeking for almost a generation. Last week we cleared a major hurdle in the process of planning that work, with a major announcement due next week. Residents have waited patiently and will no doubt be pleased when the work starts shortly.

Ashington’s Portland Park has attracted huge amounts of interest from companies who want to invest in the town centre. A major survey commissioned by Ashington Town Council showed wide support for our plans, with few residents demanding the expensive administrative building proposed by the previous administration. Elsewhere in the town we welcome new employment opportunities at Ashwood Business Park as developments are quickly gathering pace.

Last month we announced major plans for Berwick upon Tweed which will also create jobs and improve skills in the area.

In the coming months we hope to be making announcements about schemes and infrastructure investments in Blyth, Hexham and Prudhoe amongst others.

The private sector has also benefited from the work we have done to make this county a great place to invest and create jobs. I welcome companies taking the opportunities the county has to offer. Major projects include groundbreaking plans for a new distillery at Wooler and British Engines' new manufacturing facility at Cramlington. Their investments are a real vote of confidence in our county, and we will continue to make sure that Northumberland is a place where businesses can thrive.