Covid-19 may have temporarily closed the doors to visitors, but the doors have been open to plumbers, builders, and electricians.
Trustees decided to use the enforced closure as an opportunity to forge ahead with the planned renovations.
Greatly helped by local resident Tom Batey, who volunteered to project manage the work, the first stage of this four-phased project is already complete and the second stage is on target to be completed at the beginning of March.
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This has included the removal of the 'stage' area, opening up the large windows on the East Wall.
Dr Bill Bourne, chairman of the trustees, gave a presentation to a recent meeting of Alnmouth Parish Council.
He explained that the trustees’ intention to submit a Heritage Lottery bid at the start of 2020 had been derailed by the Covid-19 emergency and that the trustees were exploring other routes to raising the funds to complete the restoration and open the Grade-II listed building as quickly as possible.
Funding this ambitious project has been a challenge and trustees have been incredibly grateful for the donations received from the local community and funders such as Northumberland County Council, the Joicey Trust, the William Webster Charitable Trust, the Bernard Sunley Charitable Foundation, Northumberland Freemasons, Fenwicks Ltd and the Barbour Foundation.
However, the search to find other funding streams continues in haste to enable the work to be completed on all four phases.
When the third stage is completed the hall can be opened, subject to Covid-19 regulations.