SEVENTH century Hexham Abbey is set to be transformed to host a prestigious event showcasing the Grade I-listed church in all of its historic grandeur.

Newcastle Building Society, whose Hexham branch is directly opposite the Abbey in the heart of the town, has been announced as the headline sponsor of a gala dinner, which will raise funds vital to the Abbey in maintaining its historic buildings and its work in the community.

Tickets are limited to 200 for the occasion on Friday, November 15, which is one of several fund-raising initiatives for the Abbey, which is seeking to raise £1m in an appeal to repair its roof.

Rector of Hexham, Canon Dagmar Winter, said: “It is wonderful to have generous support from Newcastle Building Society in staging what promises to be an incredibly special event for the Abbey and for Hexham.

“The Abbey cannot operate without the generosity and goodwill of the North-East community, and the proceeds from this landmark event will contribute towards preserving this historic place and our team’s vital work in the community.”

Hannah Samuel, manager of the building society in Hexham, said: “It is a real pleasure to support this event. We are committed to our local community and the Abbey’s place at the heart of Hexham is vital to the local area.”