PLANS have been revealed to breathe new life into a vandal-hit, derelict plot of land in Hexham.

Owners, Helen McArdle Care Group, which specialises in care homes for the elderly in the North-East, confirmed this week it had submitted plans to turn the former Hexham Hospital site on Corbridge Road, known by many as the workhouse, into residential accommodation.

The group said it was not in a position to reveal further details of its plans at this stage, but a full planning application would be submitted in the near future.

The site has been derelict since the Therapy Centre closed in 2014, and has since been the target for vandals on numerous occasions.

In addition to the vandalism and break-ins, the site has also been used to dump furniture.

In recent months, however, the area was cleaned up and there were reports asbestos had been removed from the buildings.

The news that there were plans to bring the historic buildings and car park back into use was welcomed by members of the Hexham Civic Society.

Wendy Breach, treasurer of the society, said members had been lobbying HMC Group to develop the site ever since it became derelict.

Vice-chairman, Roger Higgins, said: “As long as the existing buildings are used for residential use, we are very supportive.

“The buildings are significant features of the gateway into Hexham and an important part of the conservation area.

“We think significant development which refurbishes the existing buildings and creates modern, well-designed buildings on the adjacent car park site will be a good thing.”

HMC Group’s proposals to develop the site were confirmed by its business manager Nigel Dawson. He said: “I can confirm that a pre-application has been made by HMC Group on this site.

“HMC Group is now working on a planning application for residential on this site.”