A GRADE II* listed building will be restored to its former glory in town.

A Listed Building application proposes to repair and restore The Shambles, located in Hexham Market Place in the centre of Hexham's Conservation Area.

Built by Sir Walter Blackett in 1766, this historically important asset requires urgent work to the timber beams, timber and stone columns, roof and flooring and electrics within the structure.

Plans are being developed to restore it, with work on the £300,000 county council-funded repair and refurbishment scheme due to start in early 2024.

Restoration is also needed as columns and stonework have been repeatedly damaged by cars over the last few years as existing parking spaces in the Market Place are shorter than the minimum length required to accommodate modern cars.

Sympathetically designed bollards will be placed around the north and west sides of The Shambles, protecting it from future damage.

Once bollards are installed there will be insufficient space available to extend the bays and retain the parking layout. This will need adjusting to enable safety measures to be introduced, while retaining as many parking bays as possible.

The Shambles is used by market traders, and it is hoped the work will support the market activities. 

The market traders are being consulted about the required repair works as traders will need to relocate while renovations take place.

Northumberland County Councillor, Wojciech Ploszaj, cabinet member for Supporting Business and Opportunities said:  “The Shambles is such a prominent building, which has played a key role in the history of the town and understandably there is local interest about the work that is being proposed.

“The Listed Building application sets out plans to restore this important historic feature, ensuring that any work is sympathetic to the original design and materials.

“They can be viewed online, and we welcome any comments.” 

The refurbishment of The Shambles will complement the work of the Hexham High Streets Heritage Action Zone, a £2.4m investment scheme delivered by Northumberland County Council in partnership with Historic England.

This scheme aims to make the town more attractive, engaging and vibrant for people to live, work and visit, while enhancing the Conservation Area status of the town centre. 

View the application on Northumberland County Council’s planning portal using reference number 23/03901/LBC.