WORK has started on the redevelopment of a key former industrial site in the centre of Hexham.

Plans for 77 new homes at the historic Workhouse site, on Corbridge Road, were given the go-ahead last December.

The scheme will transform the former Workhouse building into 34 residential flats, while a three-storey block for 43 retirement homes will go up in the existing car park.

Site owners HMC Group is progressing the project with developer McCarthy and Stone.

The historic site was occupied by the Therapy Centre until 2014, but since then the derelict premises has been subject to vandalism and decay.

Coun. Derek Kennedy, who represents Hexham West on Northumberland County Council, said: “This is one of several ongoing schemes to breathe new life into prominent locations in Hexham. Not only is this scheme revitalising the area, it is providing housing which also boosts the local economy, because the residents will no doubt support local shops and businesses.”

Elsewhere in Hexham, development projects are ongoing at the old swimming pool, on Gilesgate, and the former Prospect House council chamber, on Hallgate, to provide new homes. New school buildings are going up at the current high school site.