Northern Architecture opens Bedlington town centre contest

Newcastle’s architecture centre, Northern Architecture has launched a design competition to redevelop a 2.25 hectare plot in town centre.

Backed by Northumberland County Council’s development company – ‘’ – the project will regenerate a superstore site abandoned by the retail giant in January.

Located around 16 kilometre northeast of Newcastle, Bedlington is expected to see a 20 per cent growth in households over the next 20 years.

Arch purchased the land in July in a bid to deliver a ‘sustained, lasting regeneration’ for the town.

According to the brief: ‘Arch’s involvement as a long-term, patient investor with a “landed estate” perspective on development and asset management brings some important elements to its perspective on the project. As a consequence, there has to be a melding of commercial drivers and social responsibility.’

‘The most immediately commercial use of the Tesco site would likely be as a retail park or other “mono” use, which would lock the site up in a low-value use for a long time. Arch’s intervention is aimed at allowing a finer-grained, more mixed-use and more urban pattern of development to come forward.’

Around five shortlisted teams will be invited to draw up mixed-use proposals for the site which is expected to feature a 1,800m² supermarket alongside medium-to-high density built-to-rent residential development.

The winning team will be appointed to a five-year contract to deliver the scheme and the other finalists will receive £6,000 each.

The deadline for expressions of interest is Monday 9 November.


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