The first part of Amble’s ambitious £2.5million Harbour Village development should be up and running in December, and businesses are already clamouring to open at the site.
The town’s harbour front is currently alive with building activity as the major scheme, which includes the construction of 15 retail pods and a seafood centre, takes shape.
It is hoped that the overall project will be completed by March next year, but the Village is due for a phased opening, starting next month.
Harbour Village coordinator Sarah Dunne said: “Everything is progressing well and we have plans for retail pods opening for Christmas 2014.
“We are looking at having 12 of them up and ready to go in December. Part of the site will be accessible by then too.
“The seafood centre will take a little bit longer and it, along with the three other retail pods, should be ready to go by the end of February.
“We have had some great initial interest in the 15 retail pods, including a mix of existing businesses and starts ups, and we are looking to get some trading before Christmas, but we are still looking for more tenants.
“If there are any small or start-up businesses offering crafts, food and drink, or even leisure services which are looking for small retail premises in a fantastic location, we would like to hear from you.”
As part of the Harbour Village project, a new Coquet Shorebase Trust building is being developed and construction is well under way.
The new facility, next to Amble Boat Club, will provide safer, cleaner and more spacious accommodation for watersports enthusiasts of all ages and abilities.
Work is also taking place on linking the harbour area and the marina.
Meanwhile, the Culinary Institute of Northumbria, operated by chefs Richard Sim and Martin Charlton, as part of the wider vision to market Amble as a seafood town, is having an open day at its Pride of Northumbria base, on Queen Street, on Wednesday, November 12, from 5pm to 8pm.
A range of catering and hospitality courses are on offer.
The Harbour Village plans will be on display at a stand during Amble’s Christmas lights procession on Sunday, November 23, and there are plans to run a small Christmas event in mid-December when opening the retail pods.
Sarah added: “There are also some exciting events planned for a full launch of the Harbour Village, and at key times throughout 2015.”
For more information, visit ambleharbourvillage.co.uk
Business information packs are also available from the Development Trust Offices, Fourways 2, on Dilston Terrace. The scheme also has a Facebook page and Twitter account.