Leisure bid is ‘exactly what Rothbury needs’

Rothbury
Rothbury

A proposal to create a holiday and recreation facility in Coquetdale, which would create up to 20 jobs, has been described as win-win.

Callaly Leisure Ltd is behind the scheme for the Auction Rooms and former cattle market, on Station Road, Rothbury.

The plan, which is currently at the pre-application stage, aims to turn the Auction Rooms into a bistro/café, reception, administration offices and toilets.

The proposal also includes the former cattle market land to accommodate holiday touring units, such as caravans, motorhomes and tents.

If permission is granted, a road would be constructed to connect the site to the existing Riverside Caravan Park, which is owned by the applicants.

The administration of all Callaly Leisure Ltd’s activities will be centred on-site and, in total, 15 to 20 jobs will be created. The company adds that the facility will attract additional visitors to the area.

Rothbury county councillor Steven Bridgett has already spoken out in favour of the scheme, and at last Wednesday’s parish-council meeting, he reiterated his views, saying he fully endorses the project.

He said: “At the end of the day, it cleans up the site which has been a mess since the big floods in 2008. It will create jobs and will bring tourists to the area.

“It is a win-win situation for all of us. Anyone who wants to invest in that area and bring jobs to Rothbury must be supported. It is exactly what that area and the whole of Rothbury needs.”

The Auction Rooms are primarily used four times a year for household auctions. Each event includes three days of viewing and one day of auctioning, and has 500 to 600 visitors each day. In 2003, the cattle market ceased to trade due to the effects of the foot-and-mouth virus.

Coun Bridgett added: “We can’t leave it as it is, just for a facility that is used a few times a year. This scheme would mean it is used 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year.”