A VICTORIAN building in Newbrough has been transformed into a bunkhouse for visitors to the village. 

Cyclists, walkers and tourists can now book to stay in the Mechanical Institute which was made a listed building last year. 

Built in 1854 and enlarged in 1890, the building now functions as a place to stay in the Tynedale village. 

Following a redevelopment in the region of £30,000, the bunkhouse boasts 11 bunk beds in four bedrooms, each furnished in a simple, clean design. There is also a fully equipped kitchen and two bathrooms. 

The bunkhouse is run by Newbrough Town Hall Committee which welcomed the first guests last weekend.

The building was re-listed by the Government last year to celebrate its role in the history of the Women's Institute.

It was one of just four buildings in the country re-listed to mark the WI's centenary. 

The Mechanical Institute was gifted to the WI in 1948 which then donated it to the town hall committee as part of its millennium project. 

Treasurer of Newbrough Town Hall Committee, Dorothy Bowman, said: "The building had been empty for years and was becoming a drain on the village. 

"It was a case of trying to do something that would generate money for the village. It's a wonderful idea and gives pubs and shops in the area more business as well." 

The building was previously no more than two rooms and an outdoor toilet. 

Joint chairman of Newbrough Town Hall Committee, George Shaw, said: "The building was redundant so we needed to find something to do with it. 

"Many people have asked why the building wasn't being used for recreational purposes. 

"In the area we have three churches, three pubs, a chapel and a school. We didn't need anything else and hopefully the bunkhouse will bring more tourism and people coming into the village."

The town hall committee and a caretaker are in charge of the day-to-day running of the bunkhouse but there could be potential for employment in the future.   

To book a stay in the Newbrough bunkhouse go to www.newbroughbunkhouse.co.uk