One of the region's best-known businessmen Sir John Hall is returning to his home town to try and revamp the high street.
Sir John Hall, perhaps best known for being the man behind the Metro Centre, is spearheading an action group that is looking at ways to improve business and trade in Ashington.
The group was formed after a government report was published into failing high streets across the country.
"It is well known that I was born, lived, and brought up in North Seaton, part of Ashington.
It is also well-documented that my early vision of the Metro Centre was based on my knowledge, liking and experience of the range of available retail shopping on Station Road, Ashington.
To be given the opportunity to return to my hometown and be directly involved in working with others to affect real positive change and improvement in Ashington was too good a chance to miss and I intend to give it my very best shot."
More top news
The proposals have prompted protests by local residents.
In the early hours of Sunday morning a 33-year-old man was stabbed outside Lloyds bank at Haymarket Metro Station.
The Great North Air ambulance were called to the scene in Seaham to take the children to the James Cook University hospital.