As part of North Tyneside Council’s ambitious plans to transform North Shields, there’s been a significant boost in support for the growing number of local businesses in the town, and those looking for work or training.
More new businesses are starting in the NE29 and NE30 postcodes compared to last year* and nearly 4,400 people have been helped with support around employment or training at the Working Well hub in North Shields, since it opened last November.
Working Well is now organising a Jobs and Career Information and Advice Session on September 15. People can drop in anytime between 10am and 3pm and receive support from the team, which includes access to the latest job and training opportunities, help with CV writing, ICT support and much more.
The event on September 15 will help staff affected by the closure of the North Shields Wilko branch, which will shut this month as part of the chain going into administration nationwide.
Wilko employees have already been visiting the hub, and Working Well staff have been making site visits to the shop, to offer support.
The hub provides a one-stop-shop to make it easier for people to access employment and skills support – from the latest information on the jobs market to building confidence.
There are some other small businesses based within the North Shields Wilko store, and they are being assisted by North Tyneside Council’s Business Factory – which supports businesses in the borough. All are being offered help to relocate to other premises within North Shields town centre.
North Tyneside Council’s Elected Mayor, Dame Norma Redfearn, said “I am saddened that Wilko has gone into administration. This collapse is beyond our control, but where we can help, we are. We are dedicated to supporting individuals and businesses in North Tyneside.
“We are also committed to our exciting and ambitious plans to regenerate North Shields, and to support business growth in the area. We have already been out helping people worried about their jobs, and will keep doing that through the Working Well hub, special events like the one on September 15, and with the Business Factory.
“We are determined that North Shields thrives, and is a great place to live, work and visit, and it is encouraging to hear about the growing number of new businesses starting up in the North Shields area.
“We have proposals for improvement works on Bedford Street, including outside the Beacon Centre, and work on the Embankment Walkway is well underway, creating stronger links between the vibrant Fish Quay and North Shields town centre. Local businesses near the new Transport Hub are already telling us they’ve seen a boost in trade since it opened at the beginning of the month.
“We will continue to work hard towards creating a high-quality, family-friendly, attractive town centre, and supporting our local businesses and workers”.
Bernie and Barry Rutherford run Barry’s Fruit and Veg on Bedford Street in the town centre. Bernie said: “There is a lot of good news for businesses in North Shields at the moment. We moved into this shop earlier this year and we absolutely love it here.
“Since the new Transport Hub opened we’ve been busier than ever, and we’ve had great support from business teams.
“We’re optimistic about the future of the town and want to do everything we can to support a positive new chapter for North Shields town centre. The loss of Wilko is not going to stop us from feeling upbeat.”