SIX new jobs will be created when a law firm takes over Hexham’s former tourist information centre.

It was revealed at this week’s Tynedale Local Area Council meeting that two full-time and four part-time positions would be created after Gosforth-based Savage Silk was granted permission to change the use of the building in the town’s Wentworth car park into a legal practice.

The application received unanimous support from Tynedale’s county councillors who were keen to see the building brought back into use as it has been empty since January 2018 when the service was transferred to within the town’s library at the Queen’s Hall, on Beaumont Street.

Hexham East representative Cath Homer, who is also the council’s portfolio holder for culture, arts, leisure and tourism, said: “It’s interesting that we are calling it the tourist information centre when it’s the old TIC as it has been derelict and empty for some time.

“I would like to support this application and I would think anything that brings a building back into use in Hexham is a positive thing.”

Responding to comments made from Stocksfield and Broomhaugh ward member Coun. Anne Dale that it was sad to see the TIC no longer in use, Coun. Homer continued to say: “I think tourism has moved on and we keep coming to these meetings and talking about things in the past.

“The county council is investing in digital tourism services and that will boost tourism across the county, including Hexham.

“People make decisions on where to visit digitally long before they arrive at a place, so that is why digital information is so vital.”

While Coun. Dale did support the application, she said she was disappointed the tourist information centre was no longer desired in such a prominent spot in the Tyne Valley.

She said: “This building was originally built by Tynedale District Council and it looked at somewhere it could provide a really good centre in the gateway to the west.

“That is why the council chose the Wentworth car park as the best area for the tourism centre.

“It hasn’t been derelict for very long and it’s very sad to see it go.

“I was very outspoken when it closed and I made my views known, and it’s very sad that it’s gone because it was part of our past and it was something the council used to have, and something the council used to do so well.”