Restoration Scheme For Barrasford Quarry Cottages.
Barrasford is soon to be dubbed 'The Beamish of the North
Tyne' following the launch of an ambitious scheme to restore
three historic cottages at Barrasford Quarry. The former
homes look set to be transformed in a £400,000 scheme which
would benefit tourism, the community and the environment.
Courant reported that the project would return the
whinstone terraced cottages and school room to their former
glory, and recreate life at the turn of the 19th century.
The plans include
turning one of the cottages into a museum and visitor centre
relating to quarrying and mineral extraction. Another cottage
would be brought back to life as a quarryman’s cottage,
and the school room would allow visitors the chance to see
education in the eyes of children who once attended for
lessons. In addition, two of the cottages would provide
workshop and office space, and work could start as soon
as April 2005.
leased by Tarmac from Northumberland Estates, have been
derelict for about a decade, but the scheme, led by the
Mid-Tyne Community Trust, looks set to have many benefits.
Mid-Tyne Community Trust project officer Colin Earnshaw
said: “The thinking behind this is to stimulate the local
economy and the rural regeneration of that area. “It is
generating local business and local wealth, and looking
at the tourism sector.
will relate to quarrying and mineral extraction in Northumberland,
and will also benefit the education of local school children.
“All of this
and bringing the school room to life is a vision, and we
are now putting together a business plan and drawings.”
The work could take between six and nine months, depending
on the plans drawn up by architects and designers. However,
Mr Earnshaw says that environmentally sensitive technology
will be used, and the redevelopment work is likely to go
to local firms. Solid fuel and geothermal heating would
be installed to make the cottages as environmentally sound
as possible. He added: “It will create local employment,
and when the scheme is completed we hope to have local people
running the cottages. “This is an exciting project which
would enhance the North Tyne Valley and preserve these unique
buildings, the only whinstone cottages we know of in this
“It will be
the foundation for 30 or 40 years into the future when the
quarry is reclaimed and perhaps restored as a wildlife sanctuary.
” Mr Earnshaw estimated that the project could cost between
£350,000 and £400,000, and the Trust are looking into sources
The scheme has
the backing of Tarmac and Northumbria Estates, as well as
Tynedale Council and Northumberland County Council.
the cottages was originally the idea of Barrasford resident
Robson Coulson however the scheme is now being championed
by county councillor, Coun. Alex Kerr of Humshaugh. He said:
“We thought that this should be explored and a feasibility
study shows that it should be a sustainable project. “The
idea came about three or four years ago, and I am pleased
that it has been taken up. We are talking about three unique
cottages with a lot of history attached to them.”
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