Gateshead's city vision

AN ambitious 20-year plan to put Gateshead on the global map – and make it a city – has been announced.

AN ambitious 20-year plan to put Gateshead on the global map – and make it a city – has been announced.

Gateshead Council’s Vision 2030 report was published yesterday, outlining plans to transform the town’s environmental record and the health of its inhabitants.

The council also wants to build an international train station, have free public transport within 20 years and a firm commitment to growing crops for biofuel in Gateshead to ensure the town uses 30% renewable energy by 2030.

A year-long consultation on the Vision document was launched yesterday.

But the council has admitted that there are no commitments towards funding any of the long-term projects and will be discussing how best to reach the targets with other groups.

Director of policy and service improvement Lindsay Kirkley said: “Along with other organisations we have a significant amount of public spending power and by bringing that together we will get much better value and be able to reach some of these aims. It’s what we want for the people of Gateshead and what we think we can achieve if we work together.

“This is very much a voluntary and aspirational strategy that sets out what we think we will achieve in the next few years and what are our bigger aims for the future. As we get closer to 2030 we see more aspirational commitments, for example encouraging biofuel crops to be grown in Gateshead.

“This is an area we would have to work closely with other businesses to achieve but we have a commitment to creating a sustainable Gateshead. What we are really asking with this is where do we go next?”

The council aims to be awarded city status before 2030, and hopes to have a higher status within the North.

Less ambitious aims include making sure all houses built in Gateshead are carbon neutral and refurbishing leisure centres.

A 100% increase in recycling is also planned, as is increasing the population to 200,000.

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