The Forum

The challenge

Our client owned land encompassing two distinct phases within Wallsend town centre; Phase 1 concerned the existing Forum Shopping Centre whilst Phase 2 covered an adjacent cleared site. 

For several years, the long-term viability of Wallsend as a town centre had been hindered by the lack of a major foodstore anchor. The centre was not able to compete with other more modern retail developments in the surrounding area. The introduction of a foodstore was therefore recognised by North Tyneside Council as an important goal together with the need to improve the wider vitality and viability of Wallsend’s town centre.

The Solution

In collaboration with our partners at Peter Brett Associates LLP and architects Corstorphine + Wright,  our team has worked to secure the comprehensive redevelopment and regeneration of the town centre. 

Phase 1 included the creation of 50,000 sq. ft. of new retail floorspace associated with remodelling and extensive refurbishment of the Forum Shopping Centre. These works brought vacant buildings back into use, created three modern retail units at ground floor level and included a library and Council Customer Contact Centre above. 

Phase 2 subsequently included the development of a new 18,500 sq. ft. foodstore and 1,450 sq. ft. drive-thru restaurant on the cleared land adjacent to the Forum . 

Working with North Tyneside Council, through extensive pre-application dialogue and community consultation events, staff at Q+A Planning ensured NewRiver could deliver on the Council’s long-term objectives for this important strategic site – creating an enhanced, vibrant shopping environment complemented by community facilities.

The outcome

We were successful in demonstrating the wealth of benefits that the developments would offer, namely improving the town’s retail offer whilst simultaneously delivering considerable investment and employment opportunities in a sustainable shopping destination.

Planning permission for the first phase was granted in 2013 and completed in 2014 with NewRiver subsequently reporting a 25% increase in footfall on previous years. Phase 2 was approved in January 2015 and commenced trading in Autumn 2016. The Q+A Planning team is continuing to work with NewRiver on projects in Wallsend and the surrounding area.

To find out more about Q+A Planning services contact Ruth Child or Tom Hallett on 0203 542 2242