THE former Robbs department store in Hexham is under new ownership.

The Yorkshire Trading Company, which already occupies part of the old Beales and later Hexham Outlet Centre, has taken over the 99,382 sq ft site.

The former Buccleuch Property-owned city centre building, which flanks Fore Street and Priestpopple, was sold over the £750,000 asking price in December.

READ MORE: Town centre shop announces closure

It had been due to go to auction with Acutius but was sold before it could go under the hammer to a locally-based private limited company. 

Closing down/sale signs lined the Yorkshire Trading Co in January amid speculation it was going into the former M&CO site across the road.

"We are committed to trading in the town and we look forward to being able to develop the site, which will include an exciting improved store for Yorkshire Trading Company", said operations and compliance manager for the company Mark Johnson.

"This development should not only safeguard employment for the Yorkshire Trading team but will also create other opportunities as well.

READ MORE: Former Robbs building sold

"At present, there are no concrete plans but we are actively working on them."

Discount store YTC announced it was coming to Hexham in October 2020 and opened shortly after to fanfare.

READ MORE: M&Co close store in Hexham town centre

Councillor Trevor Cessford for the Hexham Central with Acomb ward said: "It's (YTC) become quite popular with people in the town.

"It's better being occupied than not."

Cllr Cessford also said he was interested to see what specific plans will be announced for the space.

Mayor Derek Kennedy added: "This is good news for the town that a large company like YTC has taken on the ownership of the building. This gives a bit more certainty for this key retail area.

"I presume this may result in some investment into the site and the potential opening up of more of the building to retail and other opportunities.

"I look forward to engaging with YTC leaders to understand what their plans are and how we can support them in their ambitions”.