Plans lodged for new micropub and wine bar in Alnwick

A new micropub and wine bar could soon be coming to Alnwick town centre.
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Cameron Dixon and Chloe Maddison hope to open Three Sheets to the Wind in the former Hotspur Gin unit which has frontages on to the Market Place and Fenkle Street.

In recent months the business has been operating as a mobile bar in a converted horse box serving customers in local villages without a pub.

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However, the set up was always a stepping stone to a permanent place if the business took off.

The proposed site of Three Sheets to the Wind in Alnwick.The proposed site of Three Sheets to the Wind in Alnwick.
The proposed site of Three Sheets to the Wind in Alnwick.

"We had a five year plan in place but have accelerated that by four years,” said Cameron. “We became aware that this unit was available and it was a now or never situation so we grabbed it.”

“It would be nice to see the Market Place thriving and we hope to be part of that. There’s going to be the redevelopment of the listed buildings there and the Pig and Muck is always a busy place in the summer so hopefully we can replicate what they have done.”

A planning application seeking change of use permission has been lodged with Northumberland County Council.

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"It would be nice to be open by the end of March and certainly by the Easter weekend but it depends on how quickly it gets through planning,” said Cameron, who also revealed he had also looked at opening a micropub in Seahouses last summer but was unable to find the right property.

A planning report on the applicant’s behalf states: “The property has been vacant for most of the latter half of 2023 and is now proposed to be converted into a micropub and wine bar utilising the ground and first floor accommodation.

“A licence for the property to sell alcohol already exists by virtue of the previous occupants Hotspur Gin and is being transferred to the new licensee.

“The alterations proposed are exclusively internal with no external alterations to the property other than to insert new name signage into the two existing fascias.’

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The report adds: “The focus of both national and local policy is to encourage greater vibrancy and vitality to ensure town centres survive at a time of rapid change in the retail sector and how retailing operates. Thus whilst of course retail use remains important to retain in town centres alternative uses that will help to underpin the vitality of the town centre should not be refused.

“The use as a micropub and wine bar will maintain activity in the town centre, attract footfall and critically, extend the vibrancy of the town centre beyond the typical 9-5 hours of the retail shop – extending activity into the evenings and weekends.

“It will deliver social and economic benefits bringing a vacant unit back into use, introducing new employment opportunities and helping to maintain a more vibrant Market Place.

“Moreover, it is a use that will support and complement other event based uses in the Market Place and the proposed renovation of the Northumberland Hall for the Bailliffgate Museum.”

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