News


Andy Millne
Following the success of last years Jobs Fair, West Bedlington Town Council have teamed up with The Department of Work and Pensions once more to hold another fair on Tuesday 7th March from 10am to 3pm at Bedlington Community Centre. Last year's event attracted well over 300 job seekers and many reported a successful outcome to their day.
This year many more full and part time jobs are on offer in fields as varied as care workers, bus drivers, seasonal hospitality staff and retail workers.
As well as a fantastic range of jobs there will also be agencies on hand to offer help and advice to anyone with any type of special need. Advice will also be offered from Northumberland College (amongst others) in training and retraining, help with modern apprenticeships and administrative requirements from HMRC.
So if you are looking for a job or want to change direction or even get back into the workplace get yourself along and see what’s on offer.
Manchester’s ferocious folk foursome - 4Square - is now in their 10th year of wowing audiences from all four corners of Europe and beyond. On Sunday 5th March, they are making a welcome return to the Bedlington Community Centre. Their previous visit was an absolutely wonderful evening, so come down on Sunday to see for yourself why this young band have got such a high reputation on the UK folk scene.
This powerful young quartet with their fiery, inventive and virtuosic brand of alternative folk have played at festivals and venues all across the UK, Canada, Norway, Sweden, The Czech Republic, Greece, and Denmark as well as releasing 4 albums and one EP.
4Square’s trademark show features the spectacle of Nicola Lyons’s simultaneous fiddle playing and clog dancing and virtuosic mandolin from Michael Giverin, galvanised by the driving sounds of Jim Molyneux’s piano and Dan Day’s percussion. The result is an infusion of folk, jazz, Latin, and any other musical style they feel the inclination to absorb. By contrast, 4Square will then stir you with their harmonious and mellow singing described by Nigel Schofield of livingtradition.co.uk as “sublimely wistful.”
The band released their fourth studio album ‘Fuel’ in mid 2016, and is currently celebrating 10 years as a touring outfit. This will coincide with the release of their EP ‘X’ in 2017 that will bring a fresh look to some of the more popular tracks from previous albums.

“A great band! Totally joyful playing, which is guaranteed to cheer all but the most curmudgeonly up. Four great musicians at the top of their trade. Brilliant stuff.” Mike Harding

"Simply stunning" John Tams

"Oustanding musicianship, total assurance, abundant energy and exceeding confidence...dripping in very obvious talent" Dave Kidman, netrhythms.com
Police are appealing for witnesses after a burglary in Bedlington.
It happened at an address in Barnard Close on Friday, February 24 at 5.45pm.
A rear door of the address was opened by an unknown person, the householder called out and found they had left empty handed.
Anyone with information should call police on 101, quoting reference number 020360K/17 or ring the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
The tills were ringing yesterday as Lidl opened their brand new store in Bedlington to mixed but mostly positive reactions. The development provoked protests in May last year when a willow tree much loved by a group of residents was felled. Traffic disruption during the build also caused local residents to voice their anger across social media. The new store is now open however, and employing up to 40 locals.
Speaking on Facebook, local resident Marjorie Glass said, "Impressive. It was full of shoppers yesterday, in the midst of that nasty weather. Hope it's very successful and brings folks into Bedlington."
Lidl employee Donna Clark, after her shift said, "Can honestly say, after a 10 hour shift, I'm worn out! It's nice to know it's all been worth it and people are happy with the store and the efforts of all the staff today"
Others were optimistic but had reservations. Olive Maddigan said, "Just hope we don't lose morrisons as Lidl is great but some things in Morrisons are great too".
A new mini-roundabout was recently installed at the junction with Schalksmuhle Road with the aim of reducing congestion caused by the expected increase in traffic to the store and surrounding area.
It is hoped that with this new development and other proposals like it residents will be encouraged to shop within the town centre instead of travelling to supermarkets elsewhere.
Local media group DW-Media posted a short video of the new store to YouTube which will form part of their Bedlington development series.
 
Outline Plans for the Bedlington town centre re-development have been registered with the planning department at Northumberland County Council.
The application on behalf of Arch (Development Projects) Ltd is said to "bring forward a retail-led mixed use scheme, in order to regenerate this key site, enhance the existing range and choice of retail provision in Bedlington Town Centre and generate economic benefits for the local area" 
The application is accompanied by an illustrative masterplan and elevation drawings, as well as a Design Code, which sets out parameters in relation to the scale and type of development which could come forward on the different parts of the site. 
The scheme includes the following elements:
A 1,716 sqm gross foodstore on the eastern part of the site. New family pub/restaurant, comprising 560 sqm gross, on the northern part of the site. A range of retail/commercial units on the western part of the site, ranging between 100 sqm and 1,500 gross in size (and totalling around 5,206 sqm), along with a health and fitness club (238 sqm gross) clustered around a pedestrian boulevard. 12 residential units, above the smaller retail/commercial units. Around 250 car parking spaces located across the site, in between the foodstore pub/restaurant and pedestrian boulevard A co-ordinated scheme of hard and soft landscaping. Whilst not included on the Illustrative Masterplan or the floorspace figures set out above, there is potential to include office accommodation as part of the development, above the new shop units which would be created. The description of development set out above includes Use Class B1 in order to allow for this. 
Application Summary
17/00444/OUT | Demolition of existing structures and erection of buildings in Class A1 (retail) and/or Class A2 (financial and professional services) and/or Class A3 (restaurants and cafes) and/or Class A4 (drinking establishments) and/or A5 (hot food takeaways) and/or Class C3 (dwellinghouses) and/or Class B1 (business) and/or Class D1 (non-residential institutions) and/or Class D2 (assembly and leisure) and/or betting office (Sui Generis) uses, with associated parking, landscaping and access (with all matters reserved). | Car Park Vulcan Place Bedlington Northumberland NE22 5DN





Full plans can be viewed at https://publicaccess.northumberland.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=OL2FGUQSMP200
Following the submission of a Planning permission application for the Bedlington town centre re-development, residents are being asked to vote on a new name for the area. A pre-determined list gives the voter four choices; "The Forge", "Piper's Place", "The Cross" or "Market Square". The names are said to have been chosen taking into account the character and history of the area, looking to the future and with the aim of providing a strong and appealing name for occupiers and customers.
The investinbedlington.co.uk website states that the aim of the development is to "create a vibrant new town centre for Bedlington, but also contribute to the economic growth of the town, by creating 180 permanent new jobs, 33 construction jobs, and injecting at least £1m into the local economy."
Votes can be cast at http://www.investinginbedlington.co.uk/Vote
A link to the planning application itself will be posted here once available.
 
Bedlington Town FC, a local sporting club run by volunteers, have today announced that plans for a new full size floodlit 3G sports surface are in the late stages of development. It is reported that all of the required funding has been secured.
The club which achieved FA Charter Standard soon after its formation in 2010 has grown quickly with over 300 youngsters now part of the club.
The players are a range of girls and boys teams between under 7 and under 18 years, with each squad competing in local leagues under the guidance of fully-qualified volunteer coaches.  The club also now have a senior team competing in the Northern Alliance League.
Updates regarding the status of the pitch development will follow.
Police are appealing for witnesses following an incident in Bedlington.
It happened on Saturday February 4, between 9.45pm and 10pm, outside Breakers Bar on Front Street West in Bedlington.
A 55-year-old man was found with facial injuries after it is believed he was assaulted and taken to Northumbria Hospital where he was released following treatment.
Police are appealing for witnesses, anyone who was in the area and who may have seen or heard anything suspicious, is asked to contact police.
Anyone with information should call police on 101, quoting reference number 1207 of 04/02/17 or ring the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Prominent high street retail premises in Bedlington are being offered RENT FREE for 12 months in an enterprise competition. Aimed at encouraging a fresh new approach to retailing in Bedlington, the competition will seek out commercially viable, creative and ambitious ideas that can be made a reality. Startup businesses or existing ones that want a high street presence are able to apply. Not only that but the winner has also been offered half price accountancy fees for the first year of trading by Grimes Accountancy Services and Free advertising on bedlington.co.uk for the lifetime of the business.
The successful applications will be put to a public vote. Votes will be cast by members of the bedlington.co.uk town website and local Facebook groups such as Make a Noise for Bedlington, Bedlington Matters and Bygone Bedlington.
To enter, applicants should submit a business plan no later than March 31st via email to competition@bedlington.co.uk. A panel of judges will then choose suitable applications to be put to the public vote. 
"This is one of the best retail locations in the town, close to a major bank, the post office, and acres of free parking" said Andrew Millne offering up the space. 
Mayor of Bedlington, Malcolm Robinson, said "What a fantastic opportunity not only to try out your business idea for a whole year with reduced costs but to also work with a first class business advice service (Bedlingtonshire Development Trust) with a proven track record in helping small businesses succeed.   
It would also seem a very opportune time because your business might just be hitting its viability when the wholesale redevelopment of the Town Centre is underway.  I am sure business premises will be at a premium the closer to being finished that gets, so now is the time to dip your toes into the water if you are thinking about it!"
Competition winners will see one of the biggest costs of doing business removed entirely for their first year although businesses must be able to show evidence of future sustainability in their plans. Some businesses and local organisations will also qualify for small business rate relief but day to day running costs such as utility bills must be accounted for. 
"It's time the people of Bedlington had a say in what they need on their high street. By winning a competition like this the enterprising retailer will already have the firm backing of local residents which gives them every chance of success." said Christina Laking, local property investor.
Everyone can participate in this innovative competition by commenting on what you would like to see in your town in the comment section below.
Police are appealing for witnesses following a robbery at an address in Bedlington.
It happened at 1.20pm on Sunday, January 8, at a house in Centurian Way in Northumberland.
Three men wearing masks entered the house via the rear door. They threatened the householder, an elderly man, and held him down, and searched the house.
They stole jewellery including a gold necklace featuring a Krugerrand coin encrusted with diamonds around the edge set on a gold chain and a gold charm bracelet with charms one of which was a gold padlock.
The offenders then left in a black coloured VW Golf saloon car.
The householder was shocked and was taken to NSEC Hospital in Cramlington as a precaution. Officers have been carrying out house to house enquiries in the area and are appealing for witnesses.
Neighbourhood Acting Inspector Garry Neill said: "We want to hear from anyone who was in the area of Centurian Way at the time of the offence and who may have seen or heard anything which could help officers. This type of incident is unusual and we have extra offices in the area to speak to residents and answer any concerns they may have.
"We have an image of the car believed to have been used by the offenders driving away after the robbery and are appealing for help from the public in locating the offenders and the vehicle."
Police are appealing for witnesses, anyone who was in the area and who may have seen or heard anything suspicious, is asked to contact police. Officers also want to speak to anyone who knows the whereabouts of the offenders and the vehicle they used, or who may be offered the stolen jewellery for sale.
Anyone with information should call police on 101, quoting reference number 469 of 08/01/17 or ring the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Pictured, the vehicle police want to trace