Open event shows conservation work


A conservation area has been revived by a £2m Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) regeneration programme to restore historic buildings and streets.

Local people are being encouraged to mark the completion and the success of the THI in Bedlington, with a free open event on Thursday, February 27, in the town’s St Cuthbert’s Church from noon to 6.30pm.

The event will provide members of the public the opportunity to see what has been achieved, meet those involved, as well as giving people the chance to try traditional building skills such as lime pointing, clay tile making and roofing.

The Bedlington THI has helped to bring historic commercial buildings back to life, and during the five-year programme, just under £2m has been invested to regenerate the Bedlington Conservation Area.

The work has been co-ordinated by Arch, The Northumberland Development Company, with funding from Heritage Lottery Fund and Northumberland County Council.

Overall, 19 buildings have been refurbished and restored, helping to support 25 businesses.

Shop owner Robin Tallantyre said: “The opportunity to renovate our Bedlington premises was really exciting and it’s done wonders for the local area as well as our business.

“We’re delighted with the renovations and we’ve had good feedback from customers.”

Dave Ledger, Arch chairman and deputy leader of the county council, added: “The THI has helped to give Bedlington town centre a new lease of life – making significant improvements to the visual aspects of the conservation area and also helping to boost trade and bring more people to the town centre.”