Northumberland Hall forms part of innovative investment programme

16 Feb 2017



A Grade 1 Listed hall in Alnwick is one of many projects benefiting from Northumberland County Council’s £380 million innovative county-wide investment programme.

The multi-million funding injection, which is detailed in the Council’s Investing In Northumberland Financial Plan and Budget for 2017-2018, will continue to protect frontline services while also identifying creative new sources of investment to generate income and drive future growth.

The newly-refurbished Northumberland Hall has been restored to its former glory thanks to a £328,000 cash injection from Northumberland County Council. The hall, built in 1826 by the third Duke of Northumberland has been fully refurbished, including new décor throughout and a refresh of existing period features.

The Hall remains one of the Alnwick’s iconic buildings but, prior to restoration, has been underused for a number of years. Now the venue can play host to a range of affordable events in stunning surroundings, including coffee mornings, birthday parties, anniversaries and weddings.

Kathryn Guy, Superintendent Registrar with Northumberland County Council, said: “The Council’s investment has breathed new life into the Hall and taken the first significant steps to returning it to the thriving community hub it once was.

“The team has already had many local people pop in to find out more and the beauty of the new hall is that it is a very versatile space, accommodating large scale functions, through to more intimate  gatherings, which means the whole community can benefit.”

Council Leader Grant Davey said: “Our annual budget report makes it clear that we are thinking differently for these different times. On top of the funding reductions already passed down from central Government, we’re facing further cuts of £36 million over the next three years – with £6 million to come next year. Despite these very challenging circumstances, we are determined to do the very best for our county.

“Our innovative investments, such as the refurbishment of Northumberland Hall, will generate income, contributing to economic growth and regeneration as well as, in this case, bringing some of our most beautiful buildings back to life.

“We continue to do all we can to maintain our vital frontline services; generating jobs in the county, improving education and providing affordable housing, while at the same time developing new opportunities and creating new income streams. The returns from these innovative investments bring money back into the local economy and ensure every pound spent delivers the best value on behalf of our residents.”

Council Deputy Leader Dave Ledger added: “Our targeted investments will benefit residents and bring returns which we can reinvest into making a great county even better. The refurbished Northumberland Hall is one such example. This beautiful venue will be a great boost for Alnwick, creating more jobs and attracting more people to the town.”

Northumberland County Council is also investing in housing in North Northumberland and the wider county, putting £35 million into a five-year improvement plan for council housing, upgrading fixtures and fittings across the region.

In addition, a £1.3 million award from the Community Housing Fund will help tackle the shortages in affordable homes for local people, focusing on areas where second home ownership is traditionally high. The funding pot will aid the Council’s work with Community Action Northumberland, providing more homes that will enable local people to remain in the area.

Public parks, including those in Amble and Berwick, will benefit from a £2.5 million Council funding pot for improvements that will ensure residents and visitors alike can continue to enjoy the beautiful green spaces the county is famous for, while Alnwick will benefit from a £12 million county-wide investment into opening new high schools.

To find out more about how the council is using different thinking for different times and investing in your area, visit www.northumberland.gov.uk/budget