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It's time for a dramatic new vision for a thriving, green city centre, say Newcastle Liberal Democrats. We are prepared to think differently for the future, but is the Council?

November 23, 2020 11:38 AM

Eldon Square"Newcastle Liberal Democrats have recognised the need for a radical new vision for a thriving, green City Centre, based on a lower density of office accommodation, a greater focus on experiential and independent retail, support for smaller businesses, and the opportunity to increase residential amenity. A bright future is possible, if we recognise it's time for change and are prepared to think differently," Cllr Colin Ferguson, Opposition Spokesperson for Resources, has said.

Responding to the devaluation of Eldon Square in the Council's accounts by £52m to £93m, he went on : "Despite appearances, this devaluation is not a risk to the Council's solvency, nor will it impact on day-to-day services. Rather, this is an indication of its attractiveness as an investment asset.

"It is likely that many investment assets in the City Centre will be revalued in light of the pandemic. This is indicative, in my view, of the accelerated winds of change sweeping through city centres across the Country as a result of the pandemic. Newcastle will not be immune to these forces: we are likely to see an increase in online shopping, more home-working and less commuting. The corresponding use of city centre space will change. Newcastle's City Centre will have to change and adapt as a result, and the key question is whether the Council is ready to adapt to this, or if its investment approach remains modelled on what could be an increasingly outdated vision for our City's core?"