A good deal for Kidsgrove?

Sports CentreThe County Council and Newcastle Borough Council have announced that they will work together on a number of projects in Newcastle and Kidsgrove. Called ‘District Deal 2’, the collaboration is aimed at boosting Newcastle and Kidsgrove town centres. The main aims include:- The Ryecroft development playing a key part in improving the economic fortunes of Newcastle town centre; Jointly developing a town centre master plan for Kidsgrove and working towards the delivery of a new sports centre and pool in the town. The deal pulls together ideas and millions of pounds’ worth of projects, already underway or being planned, to ensure a joint approach pays dividends for residents and businesses.

Elizabeth Shenton, Leader of Newcastle Borough Council, said: “The projects are part of the recently-signed joint working agreement between the county and borough authorities, known as District Deal 2, which is focusing on boosting Newcastle and Kidsgrove town centres.” The news has been welcomed by many residents in Kidsgrove who feel there has been no major capital investment by the Borough in Kidsgrove for a number of years while Newcastle has seen investment in projects such as Jubilee 2. Borough Councillors have already voted in favour of two multi-million pound projects which will transform central Newcastle – creating a major shopping development, and building accommodation for hundreds of undergraduates – and bringing together local government and police services in the town centre. The proposed £27.1 million retail development and student accommodation would stand on the site of the former Sainsbury’s supermarket and current Newcastle Borough Council civic offices on Merrial Street. The proposed £15.4 million public sector hub would be built on the site of the former St Giles’ and St George’s school adjoining Barracks Road and fronting Queens Gardens. No clear plan has yet emerged on the delivery of a new sports centre and pool for Kidsgrove, although time is running out – the joint use agreement expires next March – and the funding of between £5 and £9 million has yet to be identified. Development of Kidsgrove Station into the long awaited transport hub (first campaigned for by Jon Honeyset nearly 20 years ago) could also be included in the Master Plan. Details of ‘District Deal 2’ and the Borough’s new £2.4 million bin collection service can be found on Newcastle Borough Council’s brand new website: www.newcastle-staffs.gov.uk

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