To identify the main opportunities to achieve meaningful improvements to equity, health and wellbeing in Gateshead over the next ten years, as set out in the Council’s ‘Thrive’ agenda, based on a review of the principles set out in the Council’s ‘Fit for a City’ vision.
The critical challenges and opportunities to address in the process and output are:
- breaking down 'the road barriers' to increasing opportunities for walking and cycling, linking the Central area to the Quays, Baltic, and Exemplar areas - and aligning with sustainable transport projects to support a modal shift, improve activity, and air quality
- engaging communities and civic leaders (‘Future Gateshead Leadership Board’) in the vision for, and delivery of, a healthy city
- building a new community that meets the areas needs for the future to complement other regeneration initiatives in the area
- transforming the declining Gateshead shopping centre into a retail and leisure destination of the future (in line with an Expression of Interest to the Future High Street Fund)
- taking into account the analysis and principles in relevant planning documents
- drawing on relevant best practice examples from elsewhere (UK, Europe, and beyond)
- working in collaboration with the local authority as client, presenting ideas and findings to the Future Place programme
The final output
The final output will take the form of an illustrated strategy which brings together the key measures needed to improve equitable health outcomes in the Urban Core. The strategy will build on, revise, and update the relevant principles in the current ‘Fit for a City’ vision, and will include the vision and objectives, design principles, timeline, and implementation process (this might include the appointment of a consultant team or assembly of an expert panel). It will also include an initial intervention / actions required to kick start the process.
Gateshead is situated south of the River Tyne adjacent to the city of Newcastle. They are home to approximately 200,000 people with an ambition to deliver more than 11,000 new homes by 2030. The local economy specialises in areas such as automotive, games and animation, and advanced manufacturing, providing more than 100,000 jobs.
Gateshead Council has huge ambitions to accelerate the transformation of their Urban Core through placemaking to tackle inequality, and retain and attract residents, visitors, and businesses. The Council is committed to creating a lively, connected, age-friendly town centre that promotes health, wellbeing, social interaction, and a better quality of life: linking the town centre with the redevelopment of the quays to maximise the local benefits and regenerate the area into a ‘future city’.
Next steps for Gateshead
‘Fit for a City’, the regeneration strategy adopted by the Council in 2008, now requires reinvigoration, and the ‘Core Strategy and Urban Core Area Action Plan’ (adopted jointly in 2015 with Newcastle City Council and setting the planning framework for the town centre) is ready to be advanced. Plans for the next decade include a new £250 million arena and conference venue, 1,000 new homes with a new ‘exemplar’ neighbourhood, and a high street revamp.
Sustainable transport projects such as the redevelopment of a new public transport interchange and rail station have been identified as priority projects, alongside the development and implementation of a joint air quality strategy with Newcastle City and North Tyneside Councils to tackle the 'hotspot' area of the Tyne Bridge just north of the town centre.
The Council aims to establish a ‘Future Gateshead Leadership Board’ comprised of local stakeholders, and the Future Place Programme will help to support Gateshead’s collaborative approach. This will play a central role in reinvigorating the town and creating a well-connected destination where people want to live and work. The town centre is at the heart of Tyneside and can be characterised into three distinct areas. These are:
- Central - the focus of the shopping, commercial activity and the hub of the public transport network
- Exemplar - the transition from the residential neighbourhoods into the shopping and commercial centre
- Quays and Baltic - the cultural, leisure, and commercial area home to the north east's fastest growing tech hub