AN ambitious scheme to transform a decaying historic building into a multi-use village hall is gathering pace.

The Grade II listed Barney Craig mine shop, at Carrshield, served as an essential facility for workers at a former lead mine from the 1820s onwards, housing miners between shifts and was a base for blacksmiths and other workshops.

A phased refurbishment project got under way in 2018 to prevent further deterioration to a building which had been placed on Historic England’s heritage at risk register.

By the end of the year, a camping barn opened at the facility, for walkers, cyclists and outdoor activity providers.

Now work is well under way on the final stage, to create a village hall and craft centre within the building.

The North Pennines AONB Partnership is leading the project, working alongside Historic England, while local craftspeople have been put to good use.

This year, huge concrete blocks have been removed from the main hall, and, flooring, windows and doors are now in place.

An electricity supply and water could be installed by September, with the fitting of a new kitchen to follow. The new hall is scheduled for completion next April. The project’s Alwyn Woodcock said the new village hall will host a variety of events, arts and crafts, and other classes, and could even house a local potter. Capital has come from the Rural Development Programme for England’s Leader funding. It has also received Lottery funding, was well as contributions from the Community Foundation, the Barbour Foundation, Waitrose, the Clay Pigeon Shooting Club, and Allendale Lions.