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What Business Activities are in scope?


economy issues and options paper download link


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Planning for sustainable growth in Alnwick as a main service centre is critical to wider issues such as retaining an active working population and young people and attracting new investment.

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The plan will need to provide for a wider range of economic activity than the traditional sectors of the past, and will need to be responsive to change. Tourism, retailing and the service sector will continue to be an important component of the town’s economy.

Objectives for the plan
The level of economic growth

Potentially the town could plan to encourage a higher level of growth with the objective of attracting new investment and employment. That would create greater opportunity to attract and retain young people and to retain a higher proportion of economically active people.

The key options are whether the town should plan to constrain the level of economic growth, retain growth at historic levels or actively promote growth at a higher but sustainable level. The direction of economic policy at a National and County level is to promote growth, and this view is also reflected in the initial public consultation responses to the Alnwick & Denwick Plan.

The extent and choice of land to be allocated for economic development use for Alnwick is therefore likely to be within the range of an additional 10 to 15 hectares in the period to 2025.

The location of development

Land is required in locations which are both relatively easy and cost effective to develop and attractive to employers. This, along with the sensitivity of the landscape, limits the choice of locations for new employment areas in Alnwick, to the south side of the town.

The principal opportunities for development are either land east of the A1 near to existing employment sites or south of the town at Greensfield or both.

Existing employment sites

The quality of existing employment sites varies and there is a need to encourage new investment to maintain their long term future, requiring greater flexibility and adaptability.

The options for the plan are either to restrict the use of employment sites strictly to office, industrial or storage use or allow a wider range of uses providing they lead to retention or creation of employment and reinvestment in the fabric and infrastructure of the area.

The town centre and the economy

Alnwick Town Centre provides the focus for services, shopping, eating-out and leisure employment. The centre’s mix of traditional and modern businesses is critical to maintaining distinctiveness and viability. However the capacity for the centre to provide for new employment opportunities is relatively limited. Consideration could be given to encouraging a wider range of economic and employment uses in the centre rather than predominantly shops. This could have benefits such as stimulating a more vibrant evening economy or new services.

Given the town centre’s physical constraints to expansion, it is important to identify ways in which it will compete to attract new investment in the future.

Tourism and the economy

It is likely that demands for tourism will continue to grow within the town which the plan could support. However it is equally important that tourism is not promoted to such an extent that we become over-reliant on this one sector for economic growth. A balance is needed which protects the most sensitive environments, but allows tourism developments within and adjacent to the town.

Employment of young people

Retaining and attracting young people requires action across a range of issues and providing training and appropriate employment opportunities is important.

The plan should support development that is beneficial to attracting and retaining young people, uses local labour and offers training and apprenticeship schemes.



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Evidence Base available to draw on
Key issues – Emerging already
What should be the objectives of the plan in response?
Areas of potential overlap with other topic areas
Factors constraining options
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Background papers

Key players

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