Meet the Londoner tasked with transforming struggling Newcastle town centre

A woman has been appointed to help attract shoppers back to Newcastle town centre as high streets across the country struggle for survival. Charlie Machin has been tasked with transforming once bustling streets such as Ironmarket, High Street, Merrial Street and Castle Walk.

Charlie's priority in her new role with Newcastle-under-Lyme BID will be to 'create a safe, welcoming and forward thinking town for the whole community'.

The appointment comes as residents have raised concerns over the number of big-name retailers shutting, issues with drug users and street drinkers hanging around on benches and in doorways, as well as litter and anti-social behaviour.

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However, there are several big developments in the pipeline including multi-million pound plans for homes, offices, shops and a hotel as well as public open spaces on the Ryecroft, York Place and Midway sites.

Charlie, who has taken on the role of projects and marketing executive after returning to North Staffordshire from London, said: "After living and working in London for several years, I’ve always been passionate about being positive and championing my hometown. Moving back to the area, I’ve loved seeing the progression of the town and how it is becoming more vibrant and thriving.

"So, this role is a great fit for me. Coming from a design and retail background, I believe I can help our businesses to really flourish, and I can’t wait to get involved and make a difference.

"I’ve joined the BID team at an exciting time in the year, with lots of up-and-coming projects and events in the pipeline. I’m really looking forward to being part of a great creative team, who provide some much-loved town centre events that I’ve been attending for years."

Charlie will support the BID manager, Charlotte Pearce and work alongside business engagement officer, David Breese. Together they will organise more town centre events such as the Lymelight Festival. The BID receives funds by charging town centre businesses a levy.

Charlotte said: "Charlie brings a fantastic skill set to our small but mighty team. She is deeply invested in the town and its community, and we are looking forward to welcoming her to the team. Her background in design and marketing will be a valuable asset as we continue to support our BID levy-payers and enhance the vibrancy of Newcastle-under-Lyme."

Capital & Centric has been appointed to turn York Place - between Ironmarket and Merrial Street - into public open spaces, shops and offices. The company is also set to develop plans to transform the site of the Midway car park.

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