Private sector schemes also in the spotlight at Morpeth event

Works continue to take place inside the Queen's Head.
Works continue to take place inside the Queen's Head.

Those who went along to the Morpeth Forum event on Saturday were also able to find out more about the progress of some major projects in the town.

The drop-in session included a stand by Crafted Projects in relation to works to transform the Queen’s Head on Bridge Street into a bar, restaurant, tearoom and boutique hotel.

Works continue to take place inside the Queen's Head.

Works continue to take place inside the Queen's Head.

Restoration work continues to be carried out, with phase one consisting of the Pleased to Meet You bar and restaurant and Emily’s Tearoom named after Emily Wilding Davison.

Nathan Holloway, brand director for owner Crafted Projects, said that the aim is for these facilities to be completed later this year and the second phase – a hotel with 22 rooms and a function room with the original ballroom floor above the ground floor – would be ready between six and 18 months after phase one.

He added: “We’re restoring the building, it’s not just a fit on top of a fit, and as well as using the original stonework, we’ve installed new drainage.

“The project is taking a long time, but it will be worth it.”

Morpeth Town FC has improved and increased the changing rooms, installed new kitchens and made improvements to the toilets and spectator areas.

A planning application is being worked on for phase two – an extension above the existing clubhouse to create a new meeting area and fund-raising venue suitable for community bookings.

A Party in the Park event is taking place at the ground (Craik Park) on May 25 and 26 featuring a range of music acts, including local groups such as the KEVI Steel Band.

There will be a main stage on the pitch under a marquee and a stage in the clubhouse for acoustic acts. Shed Seven frontman Rick Witter (DJ set) has recently been added to the line-up.

Rides and activities for children will be available and there will be space for camping as well as for campervans and caravans to stay overnight.

Go to the Party in the Park 2019 at Morpeth Facebook page for more details.

The former RAFA Club building on Dacre Street, known as Elm House, is to be converted into a new fine dining restaurant and construction works are set to be completed at the end of May or beginning of June, with the restaurant opening in June or July.

The Morpeth and District Chamber of Trade had a stand at the event.

Its chairman, Ken Brown, said: “Everyone agrees that a new leisure centre is needed, although some of the people who have spoken to me today said they believe a hotel and restaurant complex would be better suited at The Terrace.

“We won’t necessarily agree with all the proposals on display, but we’re happy with the process being adopted by the county council’s administration in terms of public engagement on the future projects in Morpeth.”