PROPOSALS that could breathe new life into a derelict site in Hexham have been unveiled.

Site owners HMC Group plan to develop the former Hexham Workhouse by refurbishing five flats, converting and extending 27 two and three-bedroom apartments and building two houses.

HMC Group will be working with retirement housebuilder McCarthy and Stone on the project, who plan to redevelop the adjacent carpark into retirement living accommodation for over 60s.

The two companies have arranged a public exhibition next week to display the plans to residents.

A spokesman for McCarthy and Stone said: “The aim of the exhibition is to provide details about the scheme to the community, and members of the project team will be on hand to answer any questions.

“The exhibition provides us with the opportunity to receive your feedback which, where possible, will be fed into the final plans prior to the submission of a full planning application.”

The exhibition will take place on Wednesday, March 6 between 3pm and 7pm at the Torch Centre in Hexham.

The site closed as a workhouse in 1939, before becoming the administration block of Hexham General Hospital on the founding of the National Health Service in 1948. HMC Group purchased the site in 2004.

Hexham Civic Society’s vice-chairman, Roger Higgins, welcomed the plans.

“The proposal appears to retain the bulk of the historic workhouse and brings back into use these key buildings at the entrance to Hexham’s conservation area,” he said.

“The buildings have stood empty for too long and we hope that a planning application and development will happen as soon as possible.

“This is exactly the sort of creative reuse of historic buildings which will create housing on accessible town centre sites, and we hope to be able to offer it our full support.”