New businesses could open in seaside town

Two empty Amble premises could be given new leases of life, after plans have been submitted to try to re-open their doors.

An application has been lodged with Northumberland County Council to transform the former Coastal Colour building at the top of Queen Street into an Indian restaurant and take-away.

The vacant Marina Arms, on The Wynd, is the subject of a separate planning application, proposing to divide it in two to make the site more appealing for potential interested parties.

And town mayor, Coun Ian Hinson, has backed the attempts to try to kick-start new businesses in Amble.

He said: “I don’t like empty properties in Amble because it makes it look like the place is on the brink.

“If people are willing to risk it in these uncertain times then I would be the last one to say ‘no, I don’t encourage that’.”

The Indian eatery would provide 58 covers, with the restaurant and take-away open from 11am to 11pm, seven days a week. Nine employees would work there.

Coun Hinson said he hoped that allowances had been made for car-park provision. The application states that vehicles can park on Queen Street and adjacent public car parks.

Billy Tottingham, one of the partners behind the bid, said: “Four years ago, we opened a restaurant in Seahouses called The Spice House and it has been very successful. We have a vision of making the one in Amble a plush restaurant with a top premier chef and we are confident that it would be very successful, attracting both locals and tourists.”

The plan for the Marina Arms is to divide the building into two units, each maintaining consent for the sale and provision of food and drink on site.

Agent Stephen Thompson said: “The application is being submitted so people who might want to rent it for a restaurant business don’t have to rent the whole floor area, which is currently quite large.”