Rural Northumberland hotel calls for localised Covid-19 restrictions

A Northumberland castle hotel has called for the introduction of more localised Covid-19 restrictions.

Thursday, 17th December 2020, 4:00 pm

Langley Castle Hotel, near Hexham, is currently closed due to Tier 3 restrictions until at least after Christmas, however, they have stressed the importance of being able to reopen in the new year if the region’s hospitality sector is to survive.

And they would like to see the region-wide approach to Tier allocation rejected, so that at least some parts of Northumberland can accept visitors.

Margaret Livingstone-Evans, executive general manager, said: “We must get our bed nights back as fast as possible so we can again offer visitors a safe, stay-in-a-castle experience that ticks every health and safety box but still provides an exquisite memory.

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Langley Castle's executive general manager, Margaret Livingstone-Evans. Picture: Diane Makepeace Photography

“Jobs depend on this and jobs are hard to come by in our rural location. We need common sense to apply and we need Northumbrians to do their bit and help bring the infection rate down to a level at which Northumberland can become the new Berkshire and have a more localised imposition of restrictions, rather than North East-wide ones.

"At least if some accommodation providers can accept guests, we can start to get the tourism pound circulating through the local Northumbrian economy.

“Here at Langley Castle, we shall continue to improvise, adapt, work within what is possible and not let coronavirus beat us.

"We just need a little more wiggle room in 2021 and an early lift on overnight stays would be just the tonic the sector requires from the Government. Whenever that happens, we are literally raring to go, with all defences in place.”

With seven-feet-thick walls that have been proven to be the best of defences for 670 years, plus 10 acres of grounds and a rural location, the hotel believes Tier 3 regulations are unfair.

Prior to being put into Tier 3, it had rearranged eight weddings for December, had arranged a combined Christmas lunch and clay pigeon shooting experience, within the regulations, and had concocted a New Year’s Eve socially distanced event.

When none of this became possible, it adopted the strategy of working within what is possible and created Wedding Tiers, whereby brides and grooms could marry, with up to 15 guests but without a reception.

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