RESTORATION works on a listed building will be delayed as a council claims it will help to avoid any more impact on a town's other revitalising works.

Northumberland County Council has decided to delay the works on The Shambles in Hexham, in the Market Place, to avoid any more disruption in the town centre.

This comes after the council confirmed that they had to amend their plans to redevelop Priestpopple in Hexham after facing several issues with infrastructures and listening to feedback from business owners.  The redevelopment of the streets in Priestpopple started in July 2023, and is due to finish in May of this year.

The works on The Shambles, however, was announced in September 2023 with plans of a £300,000 repair and a refurbishment scheme.

The council claimed that the restoration was needed as columns and stonework have been repeatedly damaged by vehicles over the last few years and will require safety measures to be introduced to protect The Shambles for future generations. 

As well as the restoration, the area will require sympathetically designed bollards to be placed around the north and west sides of The Shambles to further protect from future damage by vehicle movements.  

Which means, as a result, the existing car parking arrangement in the adjacent Market Place will need to be reconfigured to enable the vital safety measure to be introduced as there is insufficient space available for the current layout to remain. 

Read more Council issues apology and amends Priestpopple plans after feedback

Northumberland Councillor Wojciech Ploszaj, cabinet member for Supporting Business and Opportunities said: 

"The Hexham Shambles improvement project will be a fantastic addition to the wider regeneration and heritage programme we are delivering in Hexham with partners.   

"We're keen to start this work as soon as possible, and we've listened to residents and traders on existing traffic management in the town centre. 

"To minimise any additional impact on the town centre at the moment, it's sensible for us to review our start date on the Shambles project.  We will communicate a start date to all residents and businesses well in advance of works getting underway.”