Plans progress to refurbish Hexham’s historic Shambles building
27 Sep 2023
Plans have been announced for a prominent grade II* listed building in the heart of Hexham to be restored to its former glory.
Work is due to start in the New Year on a £300,000 repair and refurbishment scheme of The Shambles which sits within the Market Place in the centre of the Hexham Conservation Area.
Built by Sir Walter Blackett in 1766, this historically important asset is in a poor state of repair with urgent work being funded by Northumberland County Council to the timber beams, timber and stone columns, roof and flooring and the electrics within the structure.
The restoration is also needed as columns and stonework have been repeatedly damaged by vehicles over the last few years, which will require safety measures to be introduced to protect The Shambles for future generations.
This will require sympathetically designed bollards to be placed around the north and west sides of The Shambles to further protect from future damage by vehicle movements.
As a result, the existing car parking arrangement in the adjacent Market Place will need to be reconfigured to enable the vital safety measure to be introduced as there is insufficient space available for the current layout to remain.
A Listed Building application is being submitted in October 2023 and the public will be able to view the plans on the planning portal and on the council website and make comment on refurbishment proposals for The Shambles.
Market traders are being consulted about the required repair works as there will be a need to decant activities, whilst works get underway in 2024.
Northumberland County Councillor, Wojciech Ploszaj, cabinet member for Supporting Business and Opportunities said:
“It is fantastic that progress is being made to preserve and restore one of the Conservation Area’s most important historical features for generations to come
“The Shambles has a rich history, but it is over 250 years old and in serious need of sympathetic restoration. We are delighted that work will commence next year and will result in an upgraded asset that better support the market activities, whilst also protecting the fabric and setting of this important feature.
The refurbishment of The Shambles will complement the work of the Hexham High Streets Heritage Action Zone, a £2.4m investment scheme delivered by Northumberland County Council in partnership with Historic England. This scheme aims to make the town a more attractive, engaging and vibrant place for people to live, work and visit, while also enhancing the Conservation Area status of the town centre.