Joint working between a parish council and the National Trust has restarted as part of efforts to reopen a historic site in the Tyne Valley.

Talks have reopened between Wylam parish council and the trust over George Stephenson’s Cottage, which has been closed since January 2017.

For the last 71 years George Stephenson’s birthplace has been cared for by the National Trust.

The visitor attraction, which sits on the Wylam Waggon Way, also featured a tearoom and garden.

However, the trust moved to close the visitor attraction, citing rising costs and dwindling visitor numbers.

Meetings were held between the parish council and the trust in the intervening months, with some measures agreed – but talks then stalled.

However, at a meeting of the council on Monday, November 9, Coun. Colin Percy reported he had been in discussion with the trust.

Coun. Percy said: “I had a very positive meeting with the National Trust.

"The main thing was he confirmed the trust will continue to own the site and there’s no proposal to close it.”

It was agreed that the bicentenary of the opening of the Stockton and Darlington Railway in 2025 – which has strong links to Stephenson – provided impetus to achieve both short and longer-term actions that would link into the trust’s celebrations.

The trust hoped that the use of an online booking system, which proved successful during the pandemic, could allow a reopening.

The news will no doubt be welcomed by Hexham MP Guy Opperman, who has been engaged in something of a public feud with the National Trust over the site in recent weeks.