Agenda item

An Ambition for Wallsend

To seek approval to the boundary for and scope of the Wallsend Masterplan.




Cabinet considered a report seeking approval to the boundary for and scope of the Wallsend Plan.


At its meeting on 21 February 2022, Cabinet received an update report which identified that, in line with Our North Tyneside Plan 2021-2025, additional Masterplans had been added to the Council’s regeneration strategy, and that a report on Wallsend would be presented to a future Cabinet meeting.


An officer team had been working with the Deputy Mayor and had engaged with the Ward Councillors for Battle Hill, Howdon, Northumberland and Wallsend to understand the opportunities and challenges in Wallsend. This had included reviewing the supporting data and to begin to engage with partners to frame the Authority’s work to deliver this priority. This report sought Cabinet agreement to the first stage of that work and a set of policy priorities to inform the next stage.


The Authority’s overall aim was to create a vision and a plan to implement it, that provided a vibrant and connected place. As part of this work, three key themes had been identified as policy priorities for inclusion within the plan: These were:


·         Improve the quality of the housing offer in Wallsend; in particular making the area a focus of the Mayor and Cabinet’s plans for 5000 affordable homes and tackling some of the poor quality privately rented housing in the masterplan area


·         Make the town centre and the nearby neighbourhoods great places to visit and live; improving the street scene, public spaces and working with partners to make sure people feel safe; and


·         Make sure Wallsend residents are connected to good jobs; using the full range of tools, including adult education, apprenticeships and the capabilities plus the transport infrastructure around the town to make sure people in the community, who need it, are supported to improve their life chances.


In addition to the above and recognising the contribution Wallsend Town Centre and its environs made to the region’s economy, the North East Local Enterprise Partnership and North of Tyne Combined Authority had agreed to fund business case development work to inform master planning and research on the economic opportunities in the area. In parallel, the Government had announced further rounds of the Levelling Up Fund which may be of benefit to Wallsend.


In developing any future bids for funding the Authority would build on the recent success in securing just under half a million pounds of grant for repairs at Segedunum.  The Deputy Mayor reported that the Authority had also been invited by the National Heritage Lottery Fund to submit a fully application for grant by February 2023 to transform the Museum’s offer.


Cabinet was asked to note the work done so far and agree the approach to the next stage. Work had begun on developing the evidence base for a draft Wallsend Masterplan. Once sufficient thinking had been done to develop a policy narrative linked to potential practical steps to make it happen, the Masterplan was expected to be the basis of widening discussions with Ward Councillors, the Chamber of Commerce, Business Forum and the wider community.


While the technical study work would continue and funding bids to Government would be investigated, Cabinet was asked to agree the approach to the next stage of this work, specifically:


·      Further and wider engagement, based on the three policy objectives and an emerging Masterplan to test the thinking done to date and seek input from the community in and around Wallsend; and 


·      Work to define specific projects and create a programme of activity based on the agreed regeneration strategy and the work already completed and coming next.


Subject to approval from Cabinet, it was anticipated that a draft Masterplan would be subject to engagement in summer 2022, prior to a final version being presented to Cabinet for adoption by autumn/winter 2022. The plan attached as Appendix 1 to the report showed the defined Masterplan boundary. It was the area of greatest need and would be the focus of the Authority’s future interventions as it would have the maximum impact in achieving the Authority’s policy objectives. The area included:


·         The riverside (including Swans) running from Benton Way to Davy Bank,

·         High Street East & West, Station Road (up to North Road) and the Forum,

·         Segedunum Roman Fort & Museum,

·         Housing areas to the south and north of High Street West, and

·         Richardson Dees Park and The Green Conservation Area.


Cabinet considered the following decision options: to accept the recommendations set out in paragraph 1.2 of the report, or alternatively, to not approve the recommendations.


Resolved that (1) the work done so far on the Ambition for Wallsend, be noted;

(2) the proposed policy priorities including the boundary and scope of the proposed Masterplan as outlined in the report, be approved; and

(3) the next steps including wider engagement and to receiving further reports as required, be approved.


(Reason for decision:  The scope aligns with the themes within the emerging Levelling Up prospectus and the Masterplan boundary enables the three themes of housing, employment and an improved built environment to be addressed.)



Supporting documents: