HEXHAM’S MP has visited a Tyne Valley arts attraction as part of a tour to encourage and promote the reopening of businesses across his constituency.

Guy Opperman met with the Queen’s Hall chief executive Katy Taylor to look at the backstage refurbishments being made before the restart of shows in the main theatre. They also discussed the difficulties the Queen’s Hall has faced throughout the pandemic, the support it has received from Historic England and their Northumberland-wide arts centre collaborations.

Shows at the venue are due to restart on Thursday, August 11.

Mr Opperman said: “It was brilliant to visit the Queen’s Hall.

“Venues have been hugely affected throughout this pandemic and it was great to discuss the support Katy and the team have received from Historic England and furlough support from the Treasury.”

He added: “I encourage everyone to support our local businesses as we come out of the pandemic because if we don’t use them, we’ll lose them.”

The Queen’s Hall closed in March last year to ensure public safety.

Over £1.1 million has been invested in arts and cultural organisations across Northumberland through the Culture Recovery Fund distributed by Arts Council England. The centre also benefitted from an award of £50,000 from the Garfield Weston Foundation to help with running costs and ensure it can reopen its doors when it’s safe to do so.