Letter: Efforts to regenerate Newcastle's deprived areas

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The Independent Online
Sir: Your polemic highlighting some of the problems of parts of the West End of Newcastle ('Despair on the breadline', 24 February) belongs to the 'moaning minnie' school of journalism. The disparaging reference to the efforts of community leaders completely ignores:

that the day before the article one of the community leaders was awarded the MBE for her efforts to regenerate the area;

Scotswood residents were awarded the national Jameson award last month for their outstanding efforts in urban regeneration;

the Department of the Environment secured a pounds 1.7m grant at the beginning of February to revitalise the estate featured in your picture.

I could go on at length. The community representatives, the City Council and the private sector have formed a partnership to tackle some of the problems your correspondent is so keen to highlight.

Rather than write off the area, we are implementing a plan to encourage people to stay. Sadly, your article flashes an image across the world that does as much damage as the disturbances that occurred 18 months ago.

Yours sincerely,

JONATHAN BLACKIE

Director

City Challenge

West End Partnership Ltd

Newcastle upon Tyne

26 February

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