A new lease of life for Coquetdale Centre

Duncan Wise, Northumberland National Park visitor development and marketing manager with local volunteers Chris Oakey, Alice Lawson, and Elizabeth Reed, Jackie Sewell, owner of Tomlinsons Caf� and Bunkhouse, Valerie Apthead, Steve Bancroft and Pete Trumper, Northumberland National Park estates development manager.
Duncan Wise, Northumberland National Park visitor development and marketing manager with local volunteers Chris Oakey, Alice Lawson, and Elizabeth Reed, Jackie Sewell, owner of Tomlinsons Caf� and Bunkhouse, Valerie Apthead, Steve Bancroft and Pete Trumper, Northumberland National Park estates development manager.

A well-known Rothbury business has joined forces with the Northumberland National Park Authority to revitalise the village’s tourist information service.

Tomlinsons Café and Bunkhouse has signed a three-year agreement to work in partnership with the authority to relaunch and manage the visitor information service based in the Coquetdale Centre.

As part of the relaunch there will also be a takeaway service offering locally-made products alongside a variety of refreshments, homemade sandwiches, snacks, cakes and tray bakes.

Opening tomorrow, the new retail, takeaway and tourist information hub has created three new full-time jobs.

To celebrate the relaunch of the visitor information centre, Tomlinsons is hosting a Bike Doctor Day with local company Bike4Health. Anyone is welcome to pop along tomorrow with their bike for maintenance and repair.

In addition to providing information on events, attractions, accommodation and places to visit in the local area and wider region, visitors to the centre will also benefit from access to free wifi.

Working with the National Park Authority, Visit Northumberland and other local businesses, Tomlinsons aims to broaden the appeal of Rothbury as a gateway to action and adventure for outdoor activity enthusiasts by using the Coquetdale Centre to showcase the area and all the activities it has to offer.

Jackie Sewell, owner of Tomlinsons, said: “This is an exciting opportunity to attract even more people to the area. The Coquetdale Centre is a great starting point for visitors making their plans to explore this stunning part of the National Park with its network of cycle tracks, public footpaths and heritage attractions.

“Due to its close proximity to the Sandstone Way cycle route and St Oswald’s Way, we hope the new Tomlinsons takeaway and tourist information hub will particularly appeal to a younger audience seeking to travel around and find adventure in Rothbury and the surrounding area.

“The National Park Authority has been incredibly supportive of our aim to create a casual, welcoming hub for visitors where they can grab a snack on the go, plan their activities with help from knowledgeable staff and sample some fantastic products made by talented people locally.”

Tomlinsons has also leased a room on the second floor to provide hot-desk and office support for several local businesses specialising in outdoor events, activities and education provision across the Coquet Valley.

Pete Trumper, estates development manager for Northumberland National Park Authority, said: “Our new partnership with Tomlinsons preserves the Coquetdale Centre in Rothbury as an important information hub for visitors and will provide another welcoming venue in the town for tourists who want to explore the beauty of Northumberland National Park by bike or on foot.

“In the longer term, we hope to attract a younger demographic by offering a more informal service and free access to broadband. I am confident that we are beginning a partnership with an open and ambitious business which shares our vision to develop mutually beneficial products and services which will generate additional income in the immediate area.

“Going forward, our rangers and volunteers will be working alongside new staff at Tomlinsons to help them learn more about the National Park and to explore ways of capturing visitor contact details to help us direct people looking for specific activities and places to visit.”