The multi-million pound regeneration of Wallsend has received a major boost this week with news that contracts have now been signed signalling the start of work on the new Aldi supermarket and Burger King drive-through restaurant.
Work will start on site in early December, and the developments will be carefully managed to minimise disruption to local businesses and shoppers in the run-up to Christmas.
Welcoming this latest news, Elected Mayor for North Tyneside, Norma Redfearn said: “The council is working extremely hard with its partners to regenerate and transform the town for the people who live, work and shop there.
“The new Aldi store will be a major attraction and bring more customers to the Forum and to the High Street area in general, and the Burger King drive-through will also be a major boost. Sadly Wallsend town centre has been declining and crying out for investment for a number of years – this multi-million scheme being led by New River Retail will completely revitalise it.”
The Aldi and Burger King site works are due to start on 7 December with a view to Aldi being open from early Autumn 2016. Well in excess of 100 jobs are expected to be created when the supermarket and restaurant outlet open.
Allan Lockhart, Property Director at NewRiver Retail said: “Since we first became involved in Wallsend as a result of our acquisition of The Forum Shopping Centre in December 2010 we have forged a really positive partnership with North Tyneside Council and its elected Mayor. The progress that has been made in regenerating the town centre is a testament to the value of the public and private sectors working together to bring greater economic prosperity and to meet the needs of local people. We are delighted to be investing in Wallsend.”
This latest announcement is further good news for Wallsend which continues to go from strength to strength. The new Customer First Centre and library in the Forum – also delivered in collaboration with NewRiver – are extremely popular with local people.
New affordable housing is being built, Wallsend parks have been restored to their former glory with fantastic play facilities and great progress is being made on the £100 million investment scheme to bring jobs to the Swans site.
The Forum is also being completely refurbished by NewRiver who have invested more than a million pounds to enhance the shopping centre. This work includes internal decoration, new LED lighting throughout, new entrances, car park refurbishment, better public toilets, floor resurfacing and new seating.
In addition, the refurbishment of the Indoor Market at The Forum (formerly InShops) is progressing well and will be handed over to the operator in early January for a spring opening. So far 48 of the 52 units have been prelet.
These improvements have increased the Forum’s appeal and latest figures show that many more people are now choosing to shop there with a third increase in the centre’s footfall compared to two years ago.