New lighting on the way for part of Newcastle town centre

An area of Newcastle town centre that has been in the dark at night is to be illuminated with new and improved lighting.

Newcastle Business Improvement District is funding the lighting for part of Market Lane, as well as Staffordshire Commissioner’s Proceeds of Crime Fund, Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council and Newcastle South Locality Action Partnership.

Market Lane links Hassell Street, near the bus station, to the Ironmarket, and is often used by people on a night out to reach a bar on the lane or as a cut-through to reach other venues. However, some of the lighting that covers a section of Market Lane near Ironmarket is inadequate or not working at all. As areas of Market Lane are private land, the lighting is not covered by Staffordshire County Council. Thanks to the project, though, the area will soon be illuminated properly at night.

The project is to cost £3,600, with 50 per cent funded by the Proceeds of Crime Fund, an initiative by Staffordshire Commissioner Matthew Ellis to support local community projects which are backed by neighbourhood policing teams, local authorities and business improvement districts. The fund is made up of assets and money seized from criminals in Staffordshire under the Proceeds of Crime Act. It’s all about hitting criminals where it hurts and helping communities where it matters.

Night-time safety in Newcastle town centre

It is hoped the lighting will improve night-time safety in the town centre even further.

Eddie Leligdowicz, chairman of Newcastle BID, said: “The BID works with a range of partners to make sure Newcastle town centre is a safe place to visit for a night out. The town centre retained its Purple Flag status earlier this year for the joint efforts of the borough council, BID, Staffordshire Police and others to ensure a safe experience for night-time visitors. The new lighting for Market Lane shows again our determination to make the town centre as safe as it can possibly be for night-time visitors.”

Staffordshire Commissioner for Police, Fire and Rescue and Crime Matthew Ellis said: “Through the Proceeds of Crime Act, police are able to seize the ill-gotten gains of criminals and put them back into our communities – it’s a form of natural justice. This is about hitting criminals where it hurts – in the pocket – and then doing what’s right to help communities with that money. I’m delighted the fund has been able to support a project like this, which will help to improve people’s safety in Newcastle town centre.”