Alnwick Town Council round-up: Markets, schools and the Corn Exchange

Corn Exchange, Alnwick
Corn Exchange, Alnwick

The team behind the markets in Alnwick is planning an £80,000 project to boost activity in the town centre.

The aim of the scheme, which is in its early stages and is hoping to attract a Leader Coast & Lowlands grant, is ‘to enhance the economic and social benefit of tourism in Alnwick town centre by animating activity in and around the Market Place’,

Philip Angier, chairman of Local Living, which holds the market rights, told the council that this would involve increased cultural activities and seasonal entertainment as well as enhanced and varied markets which would allow micro-enterprises to develop their business.

It was suggested that it would create one-and-a-half new full-time jobs while preserving another one-and-a-half, but would need support from partners such as the town council, chamber of trade and Northumberland Estates, which receives an annual £6,500 licence fee for the market rights.

• Members agreed to not take a view at this stage on the proposals to rearrange the organisation of the schools in the Alnwick Partnership.

Town and county councillor Gordon Castle suggested leaving it to the schools and parents for now and while the town council should not take a view, councillors could respond as individuals if they wished.

Coun Alan Symmonds agreed, saying he thought it would be difficult for the town council to have a view at this stage.

Coun Rachael Robert said that she thought members should try to attend one of the consultation meetings taking place at the affected schools over the coming weeks. “The key is to engage and understand what the issues really are,” she added.

Following a suggestion by Coun David Farrar, it was also agreed that the item should be put on February’s agenda for further discussion after councillors have attended the meetings.

• Coun Sue Patience reported that due to the weather and the state of the roof of the Corn Exchange, pictured above, tiles had been coming down and therefore a county-council officer had decided to close the public right of way, beside the building down to the town centre, temporarily.