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A major step forward for the council’s development company is set for the green light next week (June 14).

The county council’s cabinet is being recommended to approve the closure of Arch and the creation of a new replacement company.

The new organisation, to be called ‘Advance Northumberland’ will be officially launched in the autumn and aims to help the council deliver a step change in the economy and deliver more and better jobs.

It will have a clear remit to improve prosperity, quality of life and increase business activity throughout the communities of Northumberland. And unlike Arch it will focus all its efforts within the county.

Key growth projects include developing investment zones in the south of the county, including Ashington, Blyth, Cramlington and Morpeth.

Advance Northumberland will also drive a vibrant rural growth network in the principal towns in the rural parts of the county: Hexham, Prudhoe, Ponteland, Haltwhistle, Amble, Alnwick and Berwick.

Nick Oliver, Cabinet Member for Corporate Services, said: “This is a very exciting time and a landmark moment for the future prosperity of the county.

“We’re taking everything that was good about Arch while ensuring all new governance and performance management arrangements are in place, and reviewed on a regular basis.

“This new company will be building on what is already a very successful county, continuing to work closely with a range of stakeholders and partners, delivering positive physical and economic development.

“As the only arms-length regeneration company in the North of the Tyne area with a broad skill base, we’re confident Advance Northumberland has a bright and positive future, and will play a key role in the wider regeneration of the region.

“People can also be assured that all regeneration projects will be subject to a robust business case and funding appraisal, and take account of commercial return, regeneration impact and risk. This will not be a company that takes unnecessary risks with taxpayers’ money.

“Subject to cabinet approval, over the coming weeks and months the transition process will continue, with staff transferring to the new company next month before an official launch in September.”

The report will be considered by Cabinet on June 14.

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