IT is right that a building as prominent as the former tourist information centre in Hexham is finally given a new lease of life.

For far too long it has been left looking forlorn and abandoned on the edge of the town’s biggest car park.

While the modernised tourist information service was relocated within the refurbished Hexham Library on Beaumont Street almost two years ago, the building was left noticeably empty, bearing prominent marketing boards.

The property only came into use again briefly during the period, while library services were temporarily relocated there to make way for an investment in the town’s library facility, which is now a one-stop shop for council services at the Queen’s Hall Arts Centre.

As shoppers and visitors who use the Wentworth Car Park pass the building to climb the hill at Hallgate and head into the town centre, they are also greeted by Prospect House, with its boarded up windows and unwelcoming exterior.

This once grand local authority building, which had a bustling council chamber and offices full of council staff, is another site crying out to be redeveloped and transformed ready for a bright future.

Times have changed and the town must not be left living in the past.

We trust those in power within the local authority, as well as planners and the local business community, are working together behind the scenes to do everything possible to attract the investment that is much-needed in Hexham.

We congratulate the law firm which has had plans permitted to bring the building back into use again. In the current climate, the new jobs this will bring to the town should also not be overlooked.

The firm and its staff will undoubtedly receive a warm welcome.

The sooner the building can be relaunched as a hub for business, the better.