AN investment of £67,000 has helped to open a new shop and cafe at an historic tourist attraction.

A farming business near Epiacum Roman fort, Alston, has expanded its business to open the Nook Farm Shop to provide amenities for the local community.

The organisation received funding from the North Pennine Dales LEADER programme after meeting the requirements of creating jobs, local tourism and supporting local businesses.

Trustee of Epiacum Heritage Elaine Edgar said: “It’s been driven by the fact that we have a visitor attraction here and we want to provide more facilities for the site.

“Alston has recently lost some vital services, like the butcher’s on Front Street, so we hope to serve the community through our home-made and local produce in our shop.

“We have made six jobs and given them to local people – we see ourselves very much as a local local business for local people.”

Building work on the new building started in May and was completed by November, and has already seen streams of visitors on a day-to-day basis.

Elaine added: “It’s been a long time ambition of the Epiacum to provide the facilities and expand, but it was delayed for a while by the availability of an appropriate building.

“The new shop is a great space to complement the Epiacum site. Going forward we’re going to be using the space for information, performance and interpretation activities.”