THE NEWS of a new trader in a prominent town centre location has been welcomed by developers and the council, but work on the future of the prominent building continues.

Yorkshire Trading Company has revealed plans to open a new store in the former Beales building in Hexham.

Nick Waugh, commercial property director at Buccleuch Property the current owners of the building, said it is working with Northumberland County Council, and its regeneration company Advance Northumberland, with the aim of bringing forward a joint scheme to breathe new life into the site and surrounding areas.

"The Yorkshire Trading Company approached us showing an interest in the ground floor part of the building," he said.

"It's a win win for everybody; it keeps footfall in Hexham and keeps the building secure. The driver from our perspective was to keep footfall on Fore Street."

However Nick was keen to stress that, with only the ground floor set to be occupied by the new trader, a solution for the rest of the building is yet to be found.

He added: "It's good news to an extent but there's no magic wand being waved here.

"We hope Yorkshire Trading Company can attract someone else and the other parts of the building will be in use."

County councillor for Hexham East, Cath Homer, said the news of the new trader on the high street a positive for the town.

She said: "In the current and foreseeable climates any company that would like to invest and bring jobs to Hexham is very welcome.

"No one more than me wants to see empty shops, so it’s good to see at least part of a key site being brought back in to use quite readily."